Hertz car rental company files for US bankruptcy protection

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Car rental company Hertz filed for bankruptcy in the United States after the pandemic saw its business collapse.

The company, which derives much of its revenue from airport car rentals, said it has been affected by the sharp drop in travel around the world.

It will continue to operate while restructuring its debts.

Hertz’s international activities in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, as well as its franchised sites in the United States are not affected.

The company – which started operating a century ago in Chicago with a dozen Ford Model T cars – had already laid off or laid off 20,000 employees, roughly half of its global workforce, in response to the pandemic.

Its managing director resigned last week.

Before the pandemic, the company had accumulated billions of dollars in debt, the rise of carpooling applications leading to a drop in demand for car rental.

“The impact of Covid-19 on travel demand has been sudden and dramatic, resulting in a sharp drop in company revenues and future bookings,” Hertz said on Friday.

While he had taken “immediate steps to prioritize the health and safety of employees and customers, eliminate all non-essential expenses and preserve liquidity”, uncertainty about whether and when the market would recover led to his decision, he said.


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