Super fund primed for impending travel boom

airport

9 December 2021

The tourism industry won’t be the only sector to reap the benefits of a fully vaccinated population, according to one of Queensland’s largest super funds, which holds an interest in a majority of Queensland’s airports.

Following growing optimism in freedom of travel throughout Australia, as vaccination rates continue to climb, newly merged profit for member fund LGIAsuper and Energy Super is in prime position to see the anticipated boom in domestic travel.

With a long-term mandate to invest where its members live and work, LGIAsuper has shares in Cairns (3.46%), Townsville (5.19%), Mount Isa (5.19%) and Mackay (3.46%) airports. This is in addition to a fifty per cent ownership of the Sunshine Coast Airport and a major share of the Gold Coast Airport.

LGIAsuper and Energy Super CEO Kate Farrar said members are already reaping the benefits of the travel bug that has hit Queenslanders locally; now, they are ready to see the interest grow throughout Australia.

“We know it will still be some time until international travel returns to its original capacity,” CEO Kate Farrar said.

“So instead, Queenslanders are exploring their own home, which has revived our airports, particularly those in regional areas. Now we hope the rest of the country can join us and consider visiting Queensland when it is safe to do so.”

The comments come following the release of a survey by the University of Sydney Business School’s Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies (ITLS) that found at least 50 per cent of Australians planned to travel domestically to visit family and friends as soon as they were able, and 54 per cent planned to travel domestically for their own enjoyment.

Ms Farrar said while air travel has been hit hard by the pandemic, passenger numbers had continued to recover, with some regional airports like Mackay seeing an increase in passenger numbers of more than 50 per cent.   

“We know that when it comes to superannuation for our members, long term and secure growth is the aim. With the expected travel around the 2032 Olympics and reopening of borders, we expect to see our investments really benefit members into the future,” Ms Farrar said.

With $24 billion in funds management on behalf of 123,000 members, the Queensland-based super fund is working on the next stage in its growth: the acquisition of Suncorp’s superannuation business, Suncorp Portfolio Services Limited (SPSL). 

The acquisition of SPSL is due to be completed in the first half of 2022. The combined funds will have about 250,000 members and around $30bn funds under management.