The Corporate Travel share price went up almost 5%, the Webjet share price rose 5%, the Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) share price rose almost 3%, the Helloworld Travel Ltd (ASX: HLO) share price rose 3.6% and the Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) share price went up 0.6%.
It has been a busy period of announcements for the travel industry. Not only were there a couple of reports today, but Victoria’s has lockdown ended and the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is about to start.
Webjet released its FY21 half-year result today. It said that total transaction value (TTV) was down 89% to $267 million, revenue fell 90% to $22.6 million and underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was down by 146% to a loss of $40.1 million. Underlying net profit dropped to a loss of $60.5 million.
However, Webjet said that its OTA (online travel agency) business returned to profitability as domestic borders started to reopen, driven by its strength in servicing the domestic leisure market, as well as leveraging its highly variable cost base.
Corporate Travel said that the FY21 first half revenue was ahead of expectations, despite the worsening COVID-19 situation in the second quarter. December 2020 had the highest revenue of the half despite being seasonally the quietest month for corporate travel in the first half.
Despite that, it still generated an underlying EBITDA loss of $15.7 million for the half, including a two-month loss contribution from the Travel and Transport acquisition. The underlying net loss for Corporate Travel shareholders was $26 million and the statutory net loss was $36.4 million.
The company said it was positioned for the recovery in corporate travel activity in the northern hemisphere where the COVID-19 vaccination efforts continue.
Victoria ends lockdown
Victoria’s 5-day snap lockdown is going to end today, rather than be extended as some had feared. The state recorded 0 new COVID-19 cases today.
The four reasons to leave the home will no longer apply and the 5km travel limit will be lifted. There will still be a 5-visitor limit to homes and public outdoor gatherings are limited to 20 people. Crowds will be able to return to the Australian Open from Thursday.
The borders have already started opening up again. South Australia has announced that it’s open again to regional Victoria, though there’s going to be a 14 day wait for no community cases before Melbournians can visit SA.
Over 140,000 BioNTech – Pfizer vaccine doses arrived in Australia this week and they will start to be administered on 22 February according to reporting by media such as The Guardian.
Various groups will receive the COVID-19 vaccine including quarantine and healthcare workers, people in aged care settings and disability care.
Travel businesses are hoping that as more vaccines are distributed, it could lead to stronger conditions for the travel sector.