Lowcost Travel Group confirms redundancies

Lowcost Travel Group confirms redundancies

Lowcost Travel Group has confirmed "there will be redundancies" as it centralises some core functions to new offices in Poland to drive further cost efficiencies and maximise profits.

The group has announced plans to move divisions including marketing, IT, sales, aviation, customer services and finance to Krakow, where it already has premises in the K1 building in the centre of the city and employs more than 200 staff.

Staff at the group's Gatwick and Majorca offices are starting a 30-day consultation. They will be given the option to relocate or take redundancy packages. The Gatwick offices will be retained with fewer staff and Lowcostholidays will retain its Palma offices and Lowcostbeds.com will keep its Swiss headquarters.

A 30-day consultation is required by law if there are likely to be between 20 and 99 redundancies. The consultation starts once staff have been notified in writing about the change.

Alex Gisbert, chief operating officer, said: "There will be redundancies; that's why we are doing the consultation. We are not closing down, there are certain departments affected.

"We have done a review and essentially we are re-engineering the business and centralising our business in Krakow. We have grown very quickly over the last ten years and we are very pleased with how it is going in Krakow."

He added: "We will have slightly smaller premises in Gatwick and we are not moving out of the group's headquarters. We are trying to drive better profits and more efficiencies. There will be considerable cost-savings (by moving to Krakow)."

The new offices will operate 24/7. Chief executive Paul Evans said the changes were necessary as its business model changes.

"As the group expands away from its UK origins, with increased international markets and the launch of new complementary brands, we felt we needed to reflect these changes in our business model.

"If we look back over the last four years and evaluate and recognise the entrance of global Online travel agencies, the growth of mobile, online marketing costs, changes to hotel connectivity and the growth of meta search, anyone who thinks the business they had back then is perfect today is very much mistaken.

"Krakow is a university town with 200,000 graduate students, many seeking a career in tourism. Unlike other large multi-national employers in Poland, we are 'in-sourcing' not 'outsourcing' our teams. We strongly believe this will drive greater loyalty and a better customer care ethos making us an attractive employer in a competitive market."

The group has a 24 hour customer service operations in Palma, Romanshorn, Atlanta, Sao Paulo, Bangkok, Krakow and Gatwick. It currently retains 250 people in Gatwick.

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