TRAVEL firm Skyscanner has announced plans to cut one fifth of workers, including up to 84 jobs at its Edinburgh base.

The firm, known for finding bargain travel deals, began in 2003 in the capital.

It was Scotland’s first privately held company to be worth more than £1 billion, and in 2016 it was sold to Chinese firm Ctrip, now Group, in a deal which valued the company at £1.4 billion, making it the largest tech travel deal in Europe.

Around 300 of the 1,500 workforce internationally are expected to lose their jobs due to the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the travel industry.

The Edinburgh office is unlikely to close but offices in Budapest, Hungary and Sofia, Bulgaria, are likely to shut.

It had already frozen recruitment but new roles will be created with employees given priority, as an alternative to redundancy.

A spokesman for Skyscanner said: “While we’re confident of Skyscanner’s recovery in the long-term, the impact of COVID-19 means there is still uncertainty on how much time it will take for travel to recover and what this might look like.

“This is a hard time for our people and teams, so throughout this process our priority - as it always is - will be to treat everyone with empathy, care and respect.

“We’ll be working to make sure we support them as much as we can.”