Road & Rail Wrap: Hertz lays off thousands of staff, Avis and Budget help out essential workers + MORE

After what felt like a very long hiatus, Travel Weekly’s Road & Rail Wrap is back! Our editor’s even purchased a remote-controlled car on eBay to celebrate.

Hertz announces massive workforce reduction

In response to increased rental cancellations and declining forward bookings, along with unprecedented uncertainty around the duration of COVID-19’s impact on travel, Hertz taken what is says are “proactive and aggressive actions” to manage costs and reduce capital expenditures.

Earlier this month, Hertz committed to lay off approximately 10,000 of its workers in North America.

The company expects to incur an aggregate of approximately US$30 million ($45.9 million) in costs relating to these workforce reductions, including approximately US$28 million ($42.9 million) in severance or termination payments, and approximately US$2 million ($3.1 million) in benefits costs primarily relating to healthcare.

Hertz said these costs will be incurred over the next 12 months, with the majority to be incurred over the next three months.

Avis and Budget offer cheap deals to essential workers

Avis and Budget Australia have announced rentals from $10 a day for essential workers to help keep them moving safely as they support the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tom Mooney, managing director of Avis Budget Group across the Pacific, said: “Australia’s essential workers are on the frontlines during this pandemic to ensure the rest of the community can continue to access what it needs.

“During these uncertain times, both Avis and Budget Australia want to ensure we are supporting the nation’s essential workers and that those who need to travel can do so safely to get to where they are needed the most.”

Uber rival Bolt exits Australian market

Ridesharing player Bolt has closed its local operations after almost two-and-a-half years.

The Uber rival informed Australian drivers and users last month that it would terminate its service on 28 March, with the move understood to be a result of weakened demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bolt, formerly known as Taxify, told drivers they were no longer authorised to provide passenger services under the company’s name, and were required to remove the Bolt stickers from their vehicles.

“We thank each and every one of you for your support in helping us provide the Bolt service to many riders, and we wish you the very best for the future,” it said.

According to Bolt’s website, the ridesharing service is still available in more than 150 countries across Europe, the US, Africa, and Asia.

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