I wanted to share an update here on our blog, reflecting some news discussed internally this morning.
I had the privilege of joining the Skyscanner team only recently, but already I’ve been bowled over by the unwavering commitment of our team to not only our travellers, but to each other, at a difficult time for our industry.
Skyscanner took early measures to mitigate against the impact of COVID-19 on our business: we froze all but essential hiring, dramatically reduced our discretionary spending and introduced a voluntary change in working pattern programme. We did this both in the hope that travel would recover quickly, but also to protect the roles held by our highly valued team – our most important asset as a business.
We had hoped those actions would be enough. However, while we’re confident of Skyscanner’s recovery in the long-term and we’re seeing early signs of growth in the sector, we now know it will take longer than originally anticipated for travel to return to normal. As a result, it is with deep sadness that we are today proposing changes to the business. Regrettably, these proposed changes include job losses.
There are three overarching changes for our teams. We’re proposing a consolidation of our office footprint, a centralisation of our marketing teams to the UK, and an optimisation of our organisational structure. As a result of this, we anticipate around 20% of our 1,500 staff globally will unfortunately leave the business. We’re sorry to say that two of our smaller offices (Budapest and Sofia, where we have less than 38 people each) will likely close.
We will have around 60 new roles as part of the proposed go-forward structure and these roles will be prioritised for our existing employees. We will follow local consultation processes and look to mitigate the impact of redundancies when possible. For those people who leave Skyscanner as part of this process, we’ll do our utmost to look after them, from enhanced redundancy pay for the majority of employees, outplacement support, an Employee Assistance Programme and time off for internal and external interviews. This is an incredibly hard time for our people and teams, so throughout this process our priority – as it always is – will be to treat everyone with empathy, care and respect.
Announcements like this are emotional. At Skyscanner, where we’ve experienced an incredible growth story, this news is something we couldn’t have imagined just a few months ago. As I have said to our teams, these proposed changes are in no way a reflection of the quality of our people and their work. They are the result of a global pandemic that no one truly anticipated and the widespread impact that this has had across our industry.
Today is a difficult day and we are committed to supporting our people throughout: both now and in the coming weeks. I expressed my thanks to our teams earlier today for everything they have done for our travellers, partners and Skyscanner, but I want to reiterate this publicly also: thank you to this incredible team.