Business travel giant BCD to cut 3,000 jobs as video conference takes over

Conference calls are replacing business travel. Photo:
Conference calls are replacing business travel. Photo:

Business travel company BCD is scrapping 3,000 jobs out of a total worldwide workforce of 14,000, founder John Fentener van Vlissingen has told the Financieele Dagblad.

The company has been hard hit by the coronavirus crisis, which has virtually halted business travel and boosted video conferencing over person to person meetings.

Sales slumped at the height of the crisis by 99% and Fentener van Vlissingen expects full year turnover to be down 75%. The company is the third biggest in the world behind American Express and CWT, booking sales of $16bn on business travel last year.

Fentener van Vlissingen said he expected the company would no longer make a loss by 2022 and make a small profit again the following year.  BCD books some 70% of its turnover in the US.

‘The market for business travel will return but it will be different,’ Fentener van Vlissingen told the paper. ‘More people will work at home and there will be more video conferencing.

‘A survey of our clients – and that list includes 25% of the Fortune 500 – showed that there are companies which will travel less, and companies which will travel more, such as pharmaceuticals firms.’

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