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.

1980 – 1984

From double-deckers to discount airfares

In 1980, Skroo returns to Australia to run Top Deck's retail operations here, while Bill James and Mick Carroll run operations in London. It's very early days for airline industry deregulation in Australia - prices for airfares are fixed and discounting fares is illegal.

1982 is the birth of Flight Centre in Australia. We open upmarket 'bucket shops' to sell discount airfares. The airlines and travel industry are outraged. However, customers love our cheap airfares.



The three directors of Top Deck Travel 
– Skroo Turner, Bill James and Mick Carroll.



Here's double-decker 'Flynn' in New York with punters ready for Top Deck America's maiden voyage.



The Flight Shop in Little Bourke Street is the first shop to open in Melbourne. By the end of 1982, we have 9 shops in Australia.



We use day-glo painted signs on our shop windows to spruik cheap airfares. No other travel agencies are doing this.





Discount airfares is the name of the new game. Here's the Brisbane Flight and Travel Centre at 360 Queen Street, Brisbane.