LONDON: Travel firm Thomas Cook said Wednesday that it will axe 2,500 jobs in Britain, mostly in administration functions and its retail network, as part of a major restructuring.
The cuts comprise 16 percent of the group's total workforce of 15,500 people in Britain and Ireland.
"As part of its ongoing business transformation, Thomas Cook Group plc today began a consultation process to restructure its UK business," the British company said in a statement.
"Subject to that consultation, this process would see the group's UK workforce reduced by 2,500 full-time roles, mostly in back-office functions and its retail network, including some store closures."
Wednesday's news came two days after Thomas Cook announced that it had decided against selling its loss-making French division.
"It is never easy to make decisions that impact directly on our people, but we also owe it to our customers to shape the business effectively and ensure that, when they book their holiday with us, our administrative costs are as low as possible," said Peter Fankhauser, chief executive of Thomas Cook's UK & Continental Europe division.
"As we improve and develop our online capabilities, maintaining a strong presence on the High Street is an important part of our omni-channel strategy. Even after these changes we will still have one of the largest retail networks in UK travel.
He added: "These proposals will mean a stronger Thomas Cook that continues to be a major employer in the UK dedicated to providing excellent holiday experiences to our 23 million customers."
London-listed Thomas Cook had posted annual net losses of almost 586 million ($882 million, 678 million euros) in November, as the group was hit by the combined impact of the eurozone debt crisis, Middle East unrest and high fuel costs. - AFP
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