Skyscanner mulls over decision to make SG marketing team redundant

Following its latest proposed move to reduce its presence in Singapore, travel search engine Skyscanner said it is also looking to centralise its marketing teams to the UK, and mulling the move to make the team in Singapore redundant. A spokesperson told Marketing that by doing so, it will allow its marketing team to work more closely with its co-located product, engineering and commercial counterparts. 

"The current environment means we need to reduce the numbers of smaller, fragmented teams and optimise for co-location while maximising time-zone efficiencies," the spokesperson said, adding that marketing will remain a "critically important part" of its business. The spokesperson said it is not able to give exact numbers affected by this proposal at this stage as the proposals have to be discussed and consulted in several of its office locations. Skyscanner's decision to go through with the proposed changes is dependent on its various office locations, as it will need to follow local level employment laws. 

Although the proposed decision will make its marketing team in Singapore redundant, Skyscanner's spokesperson said it will continue its marketing efforts in the APAC region and is currently working through how to achieve that. It is also working an approach to continue maintaining a local focus in its Southeast Asian markets such as Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

With its latest proposed changes, Skyscanner said it anticipates a staff cut of around 20% globally, and two of its smaller offices (Budapest and Sofia) will likely be closed. This comes as the company looks to optimise its organisational structure. In a statement to Marketing, Skyscanner's spokesperson explained this is a step it had hoped "never to have to take", and came after its initial measures which include freezing all but essential hiring, reducing spend and budgets across departments and a voluntary change in working pattern programme (voluntary reduced hours or voluntary furlough). The proposed changes is Skyscanner's latest response to the current market condition. "While we’re confident of Skyscanner’s recovery in the long-term, the impact of COVID-19 means there is still uncertainty on how much time it will take for travel to recover and what this might look like," the spokesperson said.

For its impacted employees, Skyscanner will be providing support including enhanced redundancy pay for the majority of employees, outplacement support, an employee assistance programme and time off for internal and external interviews. Additionally, it will also be working on creating an alumni network. "Protecting our people has been a key driver for the actions we’ve taken in the past few months," the spokesperson said, adding that its priority will be to treat its people with empathy, care and respect. 

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