Booking.com to Lay Off Up to 25% of Workforce as Pandemic Pummels Travel

Booking.com is planning to lay off up to one quarter of its global workforce as the coronavirus pandemic continues to decimate travel demand.
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Booking Holdings'  (BKNG) - Get Report Booking.com is planning to lay off up to one quarter of its global workforce as the coronavirus pandemic pummels demand for both leisure and business travel.

The online travel-booking website said in a filing on Tuesday that it plans to lay off up to 25% of its global workforce. 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.

Booking Holdings is also the parent of online travel-booking companies Kayak and Priceline, but the layoffs will only affect Booking.com, according to the filing.

The move comes as the travel industry continues to suffer from an unprecedented drop in demand as both forced and voluntary restrictions on domestic and international travel prompt consumers to forgo long-distance travel plans.

Millions of layoffs and broad economic uncertainty have also spurred consumers and businesses to shelve travel.

Booking, which operates travel websites such as Priceline.com, Kayak and other sites, reported a 51% drop in first-quarter gross travel bookings year over year. Booking is set to report second quarter 2020 earnings on Thursday.

The Norwalk, Conn.-based company in May reported a first-quarter loss of $699 million, or $17.01 a share, compared with net income of $765 million, or $16.85 a share, a year ago. Adjusted earnings came to $3.77 a share, falling short of the FactSet consensus of earnings of $5.61 per share.

Shares of Booking Holdings were up 0.2% to $1,653.96 in early trading Tuesday. The company’s shares are down roughly 20% year to date.