Trainline outlines ‘decisive’ action to combat impact of coronavirus

Trainline is furloughing staff, cutting executive salaries and deferring bonuses to slash costs in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

The online rail and coach travel platform has been forced to take “quick and decisive measures” due to a “significant fall” in passenger numbers over the past month as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Other measures include pausing marketing and other discretionary spend, a recruitment freeze and revising payment terms with some suppliers.

The firm plans to furlough “certain teams” under the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Chief executive Clare Gilmartin has taken a 50% salary cut and other bosses a 20% reduction “for the foreseeable future”.

This has cut cash outflow from operating costs and capital expenditure to between £8 million-£9 million a month, according to an update in response to Covid-19 issued today (Thursday).

The company said: “We have swiftly transitioned all of our teams to work from home with minimal disruption to our business.

“In addition, we have managed unprecedented levels of inbound customer service requests and improved customer self-serve functionality – introducing simple, automated change and refund processes on our app and website – while also working with the rail industry to relax refund terms and conditions.”

But the statement added: “As the impact of Covid-19 remains uncertain, Trainline will continue to monitor developments closely and adapt our response accordingly.”

Financial results for the year to February 29 are due to be published on May 7.

Gilmartin said: “Our people and our customers have always been our key priority.

“Over the past few weeks, we have worked extremely hard on our customers’ behalf to help them through what has been unprecedented levels of travel disruption.

“I would like to thank my team for their commitment and support, and our customers for their loyalty and patience throughout this period.

“Trainline is a resilient business and we believe that our prudent action now strengthens us for the long term, positioning us well to return to growth once travel restrictions lift.”

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