Our Story

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.

1973 - 1979

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.

1973

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Skroo, Bill James, Steve, Bruce and Spy on the first bus tour.

1973

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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.

1973

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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.

1975

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Grunt is the first double-decker bus to tour from London to Kathmandu.

1976

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Top Deck Travel's brochure for 76/77 features the campsite at Pamplona.

1978

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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.

1979
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1979_Bollocks-being-towed-in-Turkey
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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.