Flight Centre: Weak Aussie dollar has not dampened our enthusiasm for overseas travel

The Australian dollar's recent slide doesn't appear to be dampening our enthusiasm for overseas travel.

Global travel giant Flight Centre says ticket sales to the United States and Europe are strong despite the dollar having dropped about 20 US cents against the greenback since September.

Chief operating officer Melanie Waters-Ryan said while the lower dollar might dent spending money for Australians travelling overseas, people were snapping up bargain airfare deals.

"That would show me that customers are making their plans for the northern hemisphere summer," she said.

"There doesn't seem to be a change in consumer pattern (with the falling dollar)."

Her comments came as the travel company reported a first half net profit of $110.3 million, down 9.5 per cent from a year ago amid a volatile Australian travel market.

Managing director Graham Turner said sales growth in Flight Centre's core Australian operations was weak, but he attributed that to weaker consumer confidence rather than a falling dollar.

He expects some recovery as the year progresses, with cheap international airfares set to bolster sales during what he described as a "golden era" of travel.

"We are now heading into what is normally a peak booking period and there is a chance to achieve accelerated growth, given the fourth quarter last year was a comparatively weaker trading period in Australia," he said.

"In terms of customer enquiry, our shops are generally as busy as ever."

AAP

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