The Sunderland-based company – which earlier this month asked its workforce to take “voluntary leave” – has issued a statement this afternoon, Friday, March 20, about its current position.
Now it has taken drastic measures as it works to deal with the drop in bookings and the fall out from cancellations as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The family-run national firm has called on the Government to take immediate action to protect and other travel companies.
A statement from owners John and Irene Hays said: “Despite doing everything in our power to protect the business and retain jobs we have regrettably had to reduce working hours to zero for 880 colleagues, and to 50% for everyone else for the next four weeks.
“There have been no redundancies.
“The pandemic has been devastating for our business and the whole industry.
“Four weeks ago we were on an upward trajectory – now we are losing revenue by the hour.
“We have asked the Government for significant support for salaries to ensure that we can retain our highly skilled staff and a travel industry for when this current emergency passes.
“People are of course very upset but we have had continued support from colleagues who understand this is unprecedented.
“Our main concern is for the health and wellbeing of colleagues, customers and the communities we serve – many of them will be impacted personally and financially.
“We hope the Government will make a positive announcement today.
“Meanwhile, we continue to encourage people to book their holidays now for next year and we have introduced a Peace of Mind guarantee to help them have confidence in booking now.”