Hays Travel To Close 89 shops As Holiday Bookings Fail To Recover.
Hays Travel is to close 89 shops as it consolidates its retail estate amid the continued pressures of Covid-19. The UK’s largest travel agency said it is offering options for alternative work to 388 staff affected.
A Hays Travel spokeswoman said the third national lockdown and travel ban meant “the company had to act”. She said 388 staff affected by the closures would be offered “alternative work options” to minimise redundancies.
Chief operating officer Jonathon Woodall said the “first priority” was to “look after our customers” and ensure “the highest standards of customer service”. He added that the firm was “continuing with our robust two-year business plan and continue to be ready for the bounce back when it comes”.
Hays Travel currently operates a total of 535 shops and employs 7,700 people. During the lockdown, many staff are currently working from home and taking bookings for holidays for 2021 and beyond.
Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the TSSA union, said: “Today’s announcement of 89 Hays Travel shop closures is a sad but inevitable move. With coronavirus rampant and the usual January booking of summer holidays absent, the travel trade continues to suffer.
“The coronavirus has fundamentally changed our way of life and our ability to travel, but the government has been reckless in its failure to act. We should have had border restrictions and effective test, track and trace implemented last spring when the virus levels could have been controlled.”
The founder of Hays Travel died last year.
John Hays, who was married to co-owner Irene Hays, died aged 71 at the Sunderland head office on Friday, November 13, 2020. Mr Hays, who founded the firm in 1980 with its first branch in Seaham, had become a well-known personality in the region after expanding over the years.
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