Doncaster Airport workers at risk as travel giant TUI announces plans to axe 8,000 jobs

Workers at Doncaster Sheffield Airport could be at risk after travel giant TUI announced plans to shed 8,000 jobs because of the coronavirus crisis.

By Darren Burke
Wednesday, 13th May 2020, 4:27 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th May 2020, 4:27 pm

The travel firm, which operates hundreds of flights out of Doncaster each year, has said it plans to ‘reinvent the holiday in 2020’ because of the COVID-19 pandemic but said that costs needed to be cut by 30% in a major restructuring.

TUI has said it will be reopening selected hotels in Germany "in the coming days", with its operations in other European destinations also ready to welcome holidaymakers.

It was forced to cancel the majority of its travel programme in March, including suspending flights out of Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

TUI has announced plans to axe 8,000 jobs.

The group has since been bolstered by a €1.8bn (£1.6bn) state-backed loan in Germany.

Travel restrictions across Europe and further afield mean that the crucial summer season is still in doubt, leaving millions of holidaymakers unsure of their plans.

In the UK, the Foreign Office is still advising against all non-essential foreign travel, with no indication of when the policy might change.

On Tuesday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was unlikely that "big, lavish international holidays" were going to be possible this summer.

TUI chief executive Fritz Joussen said: "The demand for holidays is still very high. People want to travel.

"Our integrated business model allows us to start travel activities as soon as this is possible again. The season starts later, but could last longer.

"For 2020, we will also reinvent the holiday: new destinations, changed travel seasons, new local offerings, more digitalisation."

TUI said its restructuring would affect its airline business and would also involve selling off "non-profitable activities".

"We are targeting to permanently reduce our overhead cost base by 30% across the entire group. This will have an impact on potentially 8,000 roles globally that will either not be recruited or reduced," it said in a statement.

Tui normally employs 70,000 people during the summer holiday season and 60,000 in quieter months.

The firm said its turnover and earnings would be significantly lower in the current financial year, with cost savings only partly compensating for the slump.