Airbnb announces it is cutting 1900 jobs as the coronavirus crisis slashes travel

Airbnb chief executive Brian Chesky has told employees 1900 of the company's 7500 workers will be laid off in response to the sharp drop-off in global travel.

A file photo of Airbnb chief Brian Chesky

Airbnb chief Brian Chesky has announced 25 per cent of staff will be let go as revenue plunges. (AAP)

Airbnb is laying off 25 per cent of its workforce as it confronts a steep decline in global travel due to the new coronavirus.

In a letter to employees, chief executive Brian Chesky said the company is letting 1900 of its 7500 workers go and cutting businesses that don't directly support home-sharing, like its investments in hotels and movie production.

"We are collectively living through the most harrowing crisis of our lifetime," Mr Chesky wrote.

The coronavirus pandemic is forecast to put a huge dent in demand for international travel.
The coronavirus pandemic is forecast to put a huge dent in demand for international travel. Source: AAP

He said Airbnb expects its revenue to drop by more than half this year.

Mr Chesky said departing employees will receive at least 14 weeks of their base pay.

US employees will continue to receive health care coverage for a year. In other countries, employees will keep their health coverage through the end of this year.

Mr Chesky said travel will eventually return, but will look different.

Airbnb expects travellers will want options that are closer to home and more affordable, for example.

The company is scaling back its investments in luxury properties as a result.

Airbnb also recently announced a new cleaning protocol that it's asking hosts to adhere to in order to make travellers feel more secure.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. 

The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at .

2 min read
Published 6 May 2020 at 6:44am