Booking.com is laying off up to 25% of its workforce due to coronavirus pandemic
Coronavirus has decimated the travel industry. The sector will not regain its footing until we have some kind of therapeutics or vaccine that gives people the confidence that it’s okay to start traveling again. One of the affected companies in the travel space is Booking.com, a company with over 17,000 employees.
Today, Booking.com said it plans to lay off up to 25% of its global workforce as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to take a wide toll on travel, according to the company reported in a filing Tuesday first spotted by CNBC.
“The Covid-19 crisis has devastated the travel industry, and we continue to feel the impact as travel volumes remain significantly reduced,” a company spokeswoman told CNBC in a statement. “While we have done much to save as many jobs as possible, we believe we must restructure our organization to match our expectation of the future of travel.”
Booking.com’s parent company, Booking Holdings, said it will finalize its plans and make announcements to employees on a country-by-country basis starting in September, according to the filing. In addition to Booking.com, Booking Holdings is also the parent company of other online travel companies like Kayak and Priceline, but the layoffs will only affect Booking.com, according to the filing.
Below is an excerpt from the filing.
On August 4, 2020, the Company announced its intention to reduce Booking.com’s global workforce by up to approximately 25% as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Booking.com and the travel industry. Booking.com is in the process of consulting with its works councils, employee representatives and other relevant organizations where applicable (including in the Netherlands) regarding the intended reduction in force and related cost reduction and restructuring actions.
Booking Holdings said it will consult with works councils, employee representatives and other organizations regarding its intentions. The company also said it expects to develop more clarity on the timing, the number of affected employees, financial impact and other aspects of the contemplated cost reduction actions.
Booking Holdings expects to finalize its plans and make relevant announcements to employees on a country by country basis, with the first countries starting in September 2020, and expects to complete all such announcements by the end of 2020.
The travel industry has continued to see dramatic drops in business due to the ongoing pandemic, and many believe a vaccine is needed for travel to widely return to normal. Booking Holdings operates travel websites such as Priceline.com, Kayak and other sites. The company reported a 51% drop in first-quarter gross travel bookings year over year.