Travel firm Hays Travel have announced plans to cut up to 878 jobs out of a total workforce of 4,500 people.

The move comes months after the Sunderland-based company took on hundreds of Thomas Cook staff after airline and holiday businesses collapsed in September last year.

Of Thomas Cook's 800 stores, 555 of these were saved by rival Hays Travel last autumn. 

Since then, the worldwide coronavirus pandemic has taken its toll on a number of businesses, particularly in the travel sector.

What have the owners of Hays Travel said?

In a statement, Hays Travel owners John and Irene Hays said: “We are devastated that after all of our efforts and the huge investment we’ve made we now face losing some of our valued employees, through no fault of their own.

“Following the decision to ban travel to Spain and the changes in furlough conditions coming at the same time, we have had no choice.

“We are also devastated for everyone who may lose their job and we will do all we can in consultations to help them, as we focus on retaining as many people as possible and rebuilding consumer confidence through our renowned friendly and knowledgeable customer service.”