Coronavirus: The travel industry globally has been hit hard due to the coronavirus spread as countries have restricted movement to areas that have been severely affected. The impact of coronavirus on the travel sector has led to firms halting recruitments and deferring increments of its employees.
Bookings for South-East Asia have taken a hit. Travel firms believe that there would be further cancellations as the virus has spread even to Europe, as mentioned in a report in Business Standard.
Travel companies are also pausing hiring and cutting down on other expenses. Some are even laying off employees, while some are asking employees to take a salary cut, according to the report. Expedia said it is laying off 3,000 employees globally, starting with Hong Kong and Singapore.
Singapore Airlines announced cost-cutting and is implementing a 5-15 per cent salary cut for its employees, as mentioned in the report. Emirates is offering voluntary leave without pay. The head of a travel company told the daily that while there are no immediate cancellations, fresh bookings are being postponed, the report stated. He added that they have no visibility for the April-June period.
Sabina Chopra, co-founder of Yatra.com told the daily that the company is anticipating a 12-15 per cent drop in bookings after the government ordered a non-essential travel curb for Italy. Italy is a preferred holiday destination and witnesses a lot of group tours from Indians.
A MakeMyTrip spokesperson said that the company has not seen any noticeable dip in domestic bookings but there is a slowdown in outbound travel bookings."Travellers are being extremely cautious in making foreign travel plans," stated the spokesperson.
Travel giant Thomas Cook has deferred salary hikes to cut down on their expenses, as mentioned in the report. It informed its employees that the decision has been taken due to unpredictable market conditions. The firm stated in a share buy-back notification that the effect of sluggish demand combined with coronavirus has slowed down demand. The company did not respond to a query by the daily.
The International Air Transport Association has estimated a $30-billion revenue loss for airlines. Chinese airlines have taken the biggest hit. South Korea, Italy and Japan are some of the other countries that have witnessed a large number of cases.