Travel Reservations Company Cuts 470 Jobs

Sabre Holdings Corp. eliminated 470 jobs Monday, or nearly 8 percent of its global workforce, to cut costs during a slowdown in travel bookings.


The Fort Worth-based travel-reservations concern had warned its 6,000 employees in October that it would have to slash positions because of the decline in flying after the September terrorist attacks. The travel sector had already been hit earlier in the year by the slowing economy.


Most of the affected employees work in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, said Mike Berman, a Sabre spokesman. “It`s generally across the board, although some organizations will be impacted more than others,” he said.


Employees will remain on the payroll through the end of this month, and severance payments will begin in January, Mr. Berman said.


The financial impact of the staff reductions has not yet been determined, he said.

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Sabre has said it expects a reduction of between 20 percent and 30 percent in worldwide travel bookings in the current quarter. The company has forecast financial results for the quarter ranging from a loss of 15 cents per share to a profit of 5 cents.


Shares in Sabre fell 61 cents to $34.08. The issue is off 21 percent this year.


Travelocity.com Inc., which is majority-owned by Sabre, was not affected by the cuts Monday, Mr. Berman said, though the Internet site reduced its staff by 19 percent in October.


Mr. Berman declined to speculate on whether additional cuts may be needed at Sabre. “Based on what we see today, we think these are the appropriate actions,” he said.


Sabre needs to reduce its expenses for a sustained decline in travel bookings next year. “The events of Sept. 11 were so dramatic, they had a tremendous impact,” he said.


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