Qantas sells final stake in travel agency group

Qantas is to sell its 12.4% stake in Australian travel agency group Helloworld Travel for A$33 million (£18.5 million).

They disposal is being made as the carrier “sharpens its focus” on post-Covid recovery.

The airline has held a stake in the travel agency network since 2008, when it was spun off from a merger of Qantas Holidays and Jetset Travel. 

Qantas’ shareholding in Helloworld has steadily reduced over that time through various transactions and as Helloworld’s own structure has evolved.

Qantas Group chief financial officer Vanessa Hudson said: “Our stake in Helloworld has reduced over several years and now is the right time for us to exit as shareholders.

“We’ve announced some major investments this year as we focus on what is core to the group going forward, including fleet renewal, growing our network and a successful expansion into the e-commerce holiday booking space with TripADeal.

“We’ll continue to have a very strong relationship with Helloworld as a trade partner, and travel agencies in general remain an important pillar of how millions of trips are booked every year.”

The divestment of Helloworld follows Qantas’ sale of almost 14 hectares of industrial land near its Sydney headquarters for A$802 million (£450 million) in late 2021.

Helloworld was established in 2013 after the consolidation of Australian legacy brands Harvey World Travel, Travelscene, Jetset and Travelworld. A merger with The AOT Group followed in 2016 and the business name was changed to Helloworld Travel in 2017.

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