Airtours reveals worldwide job losses

UK travel operator Airtours has announced plans to axe 1,600 jobs despite recently reporting a 57 per cent rise in annual operating profits.

The company have described the job losses as unavoidable, citing the tough trading conditions created in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks as adversely impacting on leisure travel industry.

It is thought that the job losses will occur across every division of Airtours, with employees in the US most affected by the move. Around 200 jobs are to go in the UK, with operations in German and Scandinavia also earmarked.

Commenting on the decision, Airtours Chairman David Crossland commented that “the outlook for the leisure travel industry this year is uncertain, and in the light of our record performance, growth this year will be challenging.”

However, he went on to project that the company’s performance would possibly recover by summer 2002, following the rebranding of Airtours as My Travel Group, pending shareholder approval. If given the go-ahead, the move will see Airtours’ subsidiary divisions - Airtours airline, Airtours Holidays and the Going Places travel agencies – regrouped and aligned under the same name. (CL)

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