Package holiday firm Tui will close 166 of its high street stores, it announced today, after a slump in the travel sector caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The tour operator said that the decision will impact 900 jobs, but only 270 of these are at risk of being cut.
Tui will try to move the remaining employees into homeworking sales and service jobs, it said in a statement.
After the closures the firm, which takes 70 per cent of its holiday bookings online, will still have 350 stores across the UK and Ireland.
Tui said that it would not release the list of stores that will close while the consultation takes place, but added that it would not shut any of the stores which have reopened after lockdown.
“We want to be in the best position to provide excellent customer service, whether it’s in a High Street store, over the telephone or online, and will continue to put the customer at the heart of what we do,” said Andrew Flintham, managing director of Tui UK and Ireland.
“It is therefore imperative that we make these difficult cost decisions, look after our colleagues during such unprecedented uncertainty and also offer a modern customer service.”
Back in May Tui said it would cut 8,000 jobs around the world as part of a major restructuring which would seek to reduce its overheads by 30 per cent.
The tour operator said that the cuts were necessary in the face of a tourism market which is expected to be considerably smaller for the foreseeable future.
Yesterday Tui cancelled all of its holidays to Spain’s Balearic and Canary Islands until 4 August due to the government quarantine on all incoming travellers from the country.
It had already cancelled all flights and holidays to the mainland until 10 August. It said that more could be cancelled, with its next review due on 31 July.