Covid 19: Airbnb lays off 1900 staff as holiday rentals remain empty

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

It’s a serious setback for the 12-year-old home-sharing company, which just a few months ago was valued at NZ$51 billion and planning a hotly anticipated IPO. Airbnb lists around 7 million properties on its web site.

In a letter to employees, CEO Brian Chesky said the San Francisco-based company is letting 1,900 of its 7,500 workers go and cutting businesses that don’t directly support home-sharing. Those include its investments in hotels, air transportation and movie production.

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

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