Tourism giant TUI to slash 8,000 jobs over virus crisis
A TUI Airways aircraft. /VCG

A TUI Airways aircraft. /VCG

The world's biggest tourism group TUI said Wednesday it planned to slash 8,000 jobs in a bid to cut costs as the industry struggles to stay afloat with travel severely curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic. 

TUI said it was suspending the "majority" of its operations over coronavirus fears, and made a request for state aid earlier this week.

"We are targeting to permanently reduce our overhead cost base by 30 percent across the entire Group," said TUI of the cuts affecting one in ten jobs. 

"This will have an impact on potentially 8,000 roles globally that will either not be recruited or reduced."

In a press release, the group, which employs 70,000 people worldwide, said the move would affect its "package travel, cruises and hotel operations."

Highlighting the impact of the crisis, the group reported a net loss of 763.6 million euros for its second quarter to March.

To halt transmission of the coronavirus, many countries have slammed borders shut and banned tourism, leaving planes grounded and cruise ships idle at ports while hotels are left empty.

To survive the crisis, TUI had sought a lifeline from the government, signing a deal in early April for a 1.8 billion euros state-guaranteed loan to keep it afloat.

It is one of the biggest examples of German companies making use of a huge government rescue package aimed at cushioning the impact of the pandemic on Europe's top economy.

The German government has promised "unlimited" credit to help companies weather the coronavirus storm.

Hannover-based TUI has a presence in over 100 countries and operates a host of airlines, cruise ships and hundreds of hotels.

Source(s): AFP