October 25, 2020

Booking.com is laying off up to 25% of its workforce due to coronavirus downturn


A man looks at the website of Booking.com

Yuriko Nakao | Getty Images

Booking.com’s parent company plans to lay off up to 25% of its global workforce as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to take a heavy toll on travel, the company reported in a filing Tuesday. Booking.com has more than 17,000 employees, a company spokeswoman told CNBC.

Booking Holdings, Booking.com’s parent company, will finalize its plans and make announcements to employees on a country-by-country basis starting in September, according to the filing. Booking Holdings is also the parent company of other online travel companies like Kayak and Priceline, but the layoffs will only affect Booking.com, the filing said.

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 reported a 51% drop in first-quarter gross travel bookings year over year. Booking is set to report second-quarter 2020 earnings Thursday.

Shares of Booking Holdings were up 1% in early trading Tuesday. The stock is down about 19% year to date. 

“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.”

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