Skyscanner to shrink SG presence

Skyscanner will be laying off up to 20% of its 1,500 employees, and closing several offices, according to Bloomberg. It is added that the company looks to reduce its presence in Singapore and Miami, as well as consolidate its operations in the UK. A spokesperson confirmed the move to Marketing, adding that the company is proposing a centralisation of its marketing teams to the UK, and an optimisation of its organisational structure. As a result, the marketing team in Singapore will be 

Citing an internal email by CEO Moshe Rafiah, Bloomberg also reported that Skyscanner will be closing its offices in Sofia, Bulgaria and Budapest, Hungary. The move to cut its workforce comes as the company deals with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, it added. According to Bloomberg, Rafiah wrote that the company's revenues was significantly hit and the company had to adapt since a full recovery seems to be possibly years away. A conference call was also said to be hosted with 1,200 of its employees before the email was sent.

Skyscanner is the latest company in the travel industry to take such cost-cutting measures. In June, AirAsia was reportedly laying off employees as the airline is unable to ensure that it is able to continue operating like before, according to Bernama, which quoted AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat. Earlier in May, Airbnb also laid off about 1,900 out if its 7,500 employees, comprising approximately 25% of the company. This came as Airbnb was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the global travel industry to come to a standstill, co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky said.

Separately, ride-hailing companies Grab and Gojek said they were having headcount cuts as well. Additionally, Gojek said it is shutting down “non-core verticals” such as GoLife, which offers home massages and cleaning services, and physical food business GoFood Festivals. In a statement to Marketing, the company said that these businesses are dependent on close human interaction, and have seen a significant downturn over the past few months as the COVID-19 pandemic has affected consumer habits. GoLife will close on 27th July.

Earlier in April, to help travellers in lockdown cope with their wanderlust, Skyscanner curated personalised Spotify playlists that capture travel memories and define some favourite destinations. The travel company came up with eight playlists with titles ranging from “Indie Indoors” that take listeners from of Paris to the shrines of Kyoto to party playlists from music festivals in its “Front room festival" playlist. There are also songs suited for house parties, electronic and folk songs. The playlists were released on a weekly basis, and made available on Skyscanner’s Spotify profile. With these playlists, Skyscanner wants to help individuals stuck at home to still explore the world.

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