Own Flight Centre shares? Here’s the company’s plan to reopen WA

The Aussie public is keen to recommence travelling…

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a man stands with a finger to his mouth in a confused pose while his wheeled luggage is next to him with handle extended at a deserted airport.

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Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) shares have just managed to squeak into the green so far in November, up 0.3% since the closing bell on the final trading day of October.

That comes after a fairly poor showing last month, where Flight Centre shares fell 7%, despite many international and domestic air routes slated for reopening.

With most ASX travel shares still trading below their pre-pandemic levels, companies like Flight Centre are eager for a full reopening, especially here at home.

While most Aussie states look set to end border closures over the coming weeks, Western Australia is dragging its heels, concerned about letting COVID into its virtually virus-free space.

And that has drawn the ire of Flight Centre’s CEO, Graham Turner.

Western Australia may, or may not, reopen its borders for out of state travellers once full vaccination rates hit 70–80%.

The state’s roadmap to reopening has yet to be clarified by Premier Mark McGowan. McGowan aims to brief the public on that plan this week — what effect that has on Flight Centre shares remains to be seen.

Should that roadmap not indicate the state will reopen when double dose rates hit the 70–80% mark, Turner said his company will take legal action.

Speaking about that potential legal action to the West Australian (and quoted by the Daily Mail), Turner said:

The constitution states very clearly about freedom of movement and freedom of trade. That’s the basic concept.

That’s why I think we have a good chance for success on this. Not everyone in WA will [support opening borders] as some people are quite happy to stay locked up forever, but our clients are not like that…

Obviously, they want to travel interstate and overseas to see their relatives, to see their parents and grandparents.

How have Flight Centre shares been performing longer-term?

Flight Centre shares may have slipped last month, but the share price is still up an impressive 55% over the past 12 months. That compares to a gain of 22% posted by the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) over that same time.

Flight Centre closed on Wednesday at $20.10 per share. In early trade today its share price has fallen 0.25% to $20.05.

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The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Flight Centre Travel Group Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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