Tui UK is to furlough 11,000 staff in the UK, including almost 4,500 retail agents.
The company said 4,455 travel agency staff, which represents 99% of its shop staff, will be furloughed from Wednesday following the closure of its high-street network due to the government’s lockdown in response to the coronavirus crisis.
The remaining 6,545 staff are from cabin crew, pilots, and staff in retail and head office functions.
The UK’s biggest travel firm confirmed that a “small number of team members” will work as part of a virtual call centre.
A spokeswoman said: “We will have a small number of team members working as a virtual call centre to support our other contact centres – and we will still have team members who support third party suppliers and agents working.”
The company said it had to work through all available options, particularly since the government announced its job retention scheme.
Tui employs a total of 13,200 employees in the UK.
Contact Centre staff who have been kept on will work remotely.
Managing director Tui UK and Ireland Andrew Flintham said: “The travel industry is facing unprecedented pressure.
“We will continue to put the customer at the heart of what we do, and when they can holiday with us again we want to be in the best position to deliver the wide range of destinations and experiences we do today.
“It is therefore imperative that we make these difficult cost decisions and also look after our colleagues during such unprecedented uncertainty. We are a fantastic business and we look forward to taking people on holiday again soon.”