Responding to the “rapid de-escalation” of both international and domestic travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Helloworld Travel Limited (HLO) has announced it will stand down approximately 1,300 (or 65%) of the Group’s workforce globally, effective tomorrow [Tuesday 25 March, 2020] for an initial period of 10 weeks, to 31 May.
The Australian travel company will also implement 275 redundancies, estimated to costs the business around $1.4 million.
Helloworld’s remaining staff will, effective immediately, be offered reduced working hours that will be assessed in the weeks and months ahead.
In a statement, Helloworld Travel Limited said due to impact of the unprecedented and rapidly evolving COVID-19 landscape, “our services have declined and is very unlikely to show signs of recovery in the next four to six months.”
“We do not anticipate this changing until the rate of infection is declining in our region and elsewhere and a vaccine is either available or on its way with some degree of certainty.”
In addition to the scaled down workforce, Helloworld’s CEO and Executive Director (Andrew and Cinzia Burnes), will take no salary from now until the end of the 2020 financial year. Direct reports to the CEO will have their salaries trimmed a further 15% (a total of 40%).
Membership and marketing fees for network members have been frozen for six-months from April to September 2020 to assist its 2,500 network members in Australia and New Zealand.
Helloworld added that all marketing and advertising activity has now ceased until further notice, major project expenditure has been paused and all discretionary expenditure stopped.
“HLO will draw on all available government assistance in Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere to support the business and co-ordinate with the relevant agencies in support of our personnel,” the company said.