Press Release

Travel critical for construction as industry takes off by 29% in first quarter

26 April 2023 – Travel remains a critical foundation for the construction industry as the number of trips took off in the first quarter of 2023, with flights up 29 per cent versus the same pre-COVID time period in 2019, data from Flight Centre Travel Group’s flagship large market division, FCM, can reveal.

Recent figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that the seasonally adjusted estimate for the value of total engineering construction work done rose by two per cent in the December 2022 quarter to $25,158.8 million. The trend estimate also grew by 2.8 per cent.

Melissa Elf, Flight Centre Corporate Managing Director ANZ, said large infrastructure projects were thriving across Australia – with travel still seen as a critical facet for construction companies.

“The Federal Government is making significant investments in land transport infrastructure across Australia through its Infrastructure Investment Program and these projects, worth billions of dollars combined, offer significant opportunities for the construction industry,” Ms Elf said.

“You just have to look at the pipeline of work, from the $5 billion committed to the Bruce Highway in Queensland between 2022-23 to 2031-32 to delivery priority upgrades along the route, to significant investment in the Melbourne Airport Rail Link and Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport.

“Australian infrastructure is going through incredible change and major construction and engineering projects can’t be won or managed as ‘sight unseen,’ which is where travel is so incredibly vital to companies – from the original tender process – right the way through to the handover of the keys.

“A jump of nearly 30 per cent versus pre-COVID is no small feat and that tells us that despite bumps in the road for the homebuilding sector, major infrastructure projects and major sporting events coming up like the Victorian Commonwealth Games in 2026 and Brisbane 2032 are driving the need for the industry to travel across the country.

“The other point to note is that Australia is still in the midst of a labour shortage, and construction isn’t immune to those challenges – it’s now more important than ever to do all you can to both retain your staff and hire new employees – travel also plays a crucial role in this.

“Whether it be attending meetings, events, or conferences – or taking apprentices onto site visits – none of these things would be possible without stepping foot on an aircraft. For many, the need to travel is a necessity, it isn’t discretionary – this seems to be the case for the construction industry.”

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