Thought leadership

Online booking platform Airbnb is planning to cut 25% of its staff as it grapples with plunging travel due to the pandemic. The company also said it would scale back or halt newer initiatives, such as investments in hotels and luxury resorts and flights.

The firm is bracing for revenues to drop by half or worse this year. Boss Brian Chesky said it’s not clear when travel will return or what it will look like when it does. “While we know Airbnb’s business will fully recover, the changes it will undergo are not temporary or short-lived” he said.

The move at Airbnb is the latest sign the travel industry is preparing for a prolonged downturn.

Norwegian Cruise Lines warned investors on Tuesday its viability as a company was uncertain, while Virgin Atlantic said it would cut 3,000 workers and quit Gatwick airport.

Airbnb’s planned cuts will affect about 1,900 people out of the company’s 7,500 staff.

The company, which recently raised $2bn (£1.6bn) from investors to get it through the downturn, said it will provide at least 14 weeks of pay to affected staff. It will cover health insurance costs though the end of the year for international workers and for 12 months for US employees.

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