//Kuoni to begin staff consultation

Kuoni to begin staff consultation

Travel business will be ‘smaller business’ in short term

Kuoni has told staff that it is to conduct a strategic review of its business and will enter a period of consultation. The move comes as the firm looks to reshape its business in the aftermath of Covid-19.

Derek Jones, boss of Kuoni’s parent Der Touristik UK, said that the company has faced a “herculean” task repatriating customers and refunding bookings while dealing with many of the personal challenges created by the pandemic.

In his letter to staff outlined the steps that the company had taken to avoid job losses, including voluntary redundancy, reduced working hours and recruitment freezes.

“In the short term we will be a smaller business but by taking these actions now we can see our way through it and emerge stronger in the future.

“We have one of the most envied brands in the travel industry and we must now look at a roadmap to recovery so we can thrive in the years to come.   As we move into the next phase of the crisis beyond the support of the job retention scheme, we will need to adjust our plans in line with reduced demand which means we have to take some very difficult decisions.

“We’ve  done everything we can to try and retain jobs and manage our way through this, but we are now faced with a set of circumstances where we have exhausted all other options.

“Throughout the crisis we have strived to do the right thing for our customers, giving refunds where no other option has been possible.  We’ve been open and honest with our team from the outset about the severity of the situation and, without exception, everyone has been brilliant and I could not be prouder of them.”

“We’ve always said our people are the difference.    The talent we have at Kuoni is second to none and it’s my hope that we can support everyone personally and professionally at what is undoubtedly the most challenging time our industry has ever faced.

The number of potential compulsory redundancies has not been confirmed.Kuoni employs just under 500 staff in the UK and overseas.

Sam Ballard is a director and co-founder of Waterfront Publishing, creator of ABTA Magazine, Cruise Adviser, Solus and more.