Our company starts with one double decker bus in 1973. Over four decades, Flight Centre Travel Group grows to become a $19 billion business consisting of more than 40 brands. Today, we are one of the world's largest travel groups with company-owned operations in 16 countries and a corporate travel management network that spans more than 90 countries.
Our story begins
Graham 'Skroo' Turner and his mate Geoff 'Spy' Lomas are two young Aussie vets on a working holiday in the UK.
In 1973, they buy a double-decker bus and call it 'Argas', start a bus tour company, and take their first paying passengers on a trip to Spain, Portugal and Morocco.
Bill James – a passenger on the first tour – buys the second bus, called 'Grunt'. He joins Skroo as a partner in early 1974.
Top Deck Travel is born in 1975 and keeps growing.
Skroo, Bill James, Steve, Bruce and Spy on the first bus tour.
To drum up business for the first tour, Skroo and Spy hand out a one-page advertising flyer in the streets around Australia House in London.
On the voyage from southern Spain to Morocco, there is just enough room for Argas, the double-decker bus, to perch on the ferry’s rear deck.
Grunt is the first double-decker bus to tour from London to Kathmandu.
Top Deck Travel's brochure for 76/77 features the campsite at Pamplona.
This illustration shows the conversion and fit-out features of a Top Deck Travel double-decker bus. The unique selling point – you can sleep in a bed on the bus, there's no need to pitch a tent.
In 1979, Top Deck Travel has 40 buses in the fleet and takes 100 tours a year through Europe, Russia, and overland to Kathmandu. We have Top Deck shops in London, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.