Travelocity Laying Off Workers

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Fort Worth, TX Oct. 5, 2001 (AP)--A downturn in national travel has forced Internet travel site Travelocity.com to lay off 19 percent of its work force and close a call center in Sacramento, Calif.

The announcement made Friday marked the latest in a series of layoffs since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, which have depressed travel. Airlines have cut about 100,000 jobs.

``As of last week, airline ticket volumes were at 70 percent of expected levels and have been rising, but it is too early to gauge where overall bookings will stabilize,'' said president and chief executive Terrell B. Jones. ``Therefore we have taken prudent cost reduction measures.''

Travelocity said it would cut its advertising spending, impose a hiring freeze and reduce other discretionary spending.

The company said it would give 60 days notice before closing its Sacramento call center and rerouting calls to centers in San Antonio, Clintwood, Va., and Plains, Penn.

Travelocity had 1,700 employees before Friday. Of those, 285 workers in Sacramento will be laid off, along with 35 employees in Fort Worth, San Francisco and New York who were not directly involved in customer care, a spokeswoman said.

The layoffs will leave the company with 1,380 employees in about two months.

Fort Worth-based Travelocity sells reservations airline, hotel, car-rental and cruise reservations. The company is scheduled to report third-quarter financial results and fourth-quarter earnings expectations on Oct. 17.

In trading Friday before the layoff announcement, Travelocity shares fell 49 cents to $17.40.

Copyright (c) 2000 The Associated Press