Tuesday 15 September 2020 1:45 pm

Cruise ship operator Carnival posts $3bn loss amid coronavirus pandemic

Cruise ship operator Carnival said it will post a $2.9bn loss in the third quarter due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the travel industry. 

The loss includes a non-cash impairment charge of £0.9bn, the company said. 

Read more: Carnival-owned Cunard suspends all cruises until March next year

Carnival, which has already raised billions in debt, also announced today that it was planning to raise a further $1bn through a stock offering.

The operator said its 18 less efficient ships, which accounted for about 12 percent of pre-pandemic capacity but only 3 per cent of its operating income in 2019, have left or are expected to leave the fleet.

The cruise sector has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic after operators were forced to cancel services from March. 

Carnival has resumed cruises for its Italian brand Costa, although other services such as Canard are suspended until spring next year. 

Carnival chief executive Arnold Donald said: “Just six months after we paused cruise operations across our global fleet, this past weekend, we successfully completed our first seven day cruise on our Italian brand Costa. 

“Soon a second of our nine World’s Leading Cruise Lines’ brands will resume guest operations, our German sourced brand AIDA. 

“Our business relies solely on leisure travel which we believe has historically proven to be far more resilient than business travel and cannot be easily replaced with video conferencing and other means of technology. Our portfolio includes many regional brands which clearly position us well for a staggered return to service in the current environment.

Read more: Cruise firm CMV seeks rescue deal or risks going under

“We continue to take aggressive action to emerge a leaner more efficient company. We are accelerating the exit of 18 less efficient ships from our fleet. This will generate a 12% reduction in capacity and a structurally lower cost base, while retaining the most cash generative assets in our portfolio.”