Corrected: BCD Travel Covid-19 job losses to reach 3,000

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Correction, Oct. 21: BCD Travel's job losses are expected to total 3,000 for the entirety of the pandemic; a previous version of this report indicated those cuts were upcoming. This report and its headline have been updated accordingly.

By the time the Covid-19 pandemic has run its course, BCD Travel will have reduced its workforce by more than 20%, BCD founder John Fentener van Vlissingen told Dutch newspaper Financieele Dagblad.

In its efforts to navigate the ongoing pandemic -- and the attendant unprecedented downturn in global corporate travel -- the travel management mainstay will have cut around 3,000 positions out of its pre-Covid global workforce of 14,000, van Vlissingen estimated.

A BCD spokesperson said that the "vast majority" of that reduction already has taken place over the past several months.

In the interview, the BCD founder cited financial fallout from the global coronavirus outbreak, which this year ground corporate travel to a standstill -- strangling revenue for TMCs, many of which relied largely on transaction fees for income. While there have been signs of life since then, even the most optimistic projections acknowledge that the corporate travel industry's recovery will be slow.

At the height of the crisis, BCD's sales revenue was down a whopping 99%, van Vlissingen told the paper -- adding that he expects overall 2020 revenue to drop 75% from 2019, when the TMC racked up $27.5 billion in sales. Van Vlissingen projected BCD would not return to profitability until 2022, and even then, would only be slightly into the black.

Further, some Covid-related travel reduction likely will be permanent, with videoconferencing replacing a significant amount of physical travel for most types of companies, the BCD founder predicted. However, he said some industries, such as pharmaceuticals, actually would see an increase in travel in the coming years.

BTN portfolio mate The Beat this month reported that BCD Travel this year applied for a loan under the U.S. Federal Reserve's Main Street Lending Program, established by the CARES Act, but has not finalized an agreement.

Source: Business Travel News

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