Carnival Corporation has posted a $1.9 billion loss for the final quarter of 2020, warning it will remain in the red throughout this year.
The net loss compares with a $427 million profit in the same three-month period – ended 30 November – last year.
However, Carnival said bookings for the first half of 2022 were “ahead of 2019” and “demonstrates the long-term demand for cruising”. It said this was achieved "with minimal advertising and marketing".
The brand ended its financial year with $9.5 billion in cash and liquidity, which it said was “enough to sustain ourselves throughout 2021, even in a zero-revenue environment”.
It added: “Currently, the company is unable to predict when the entire fleet will return to normal operations, and as a result, unable to provide an earnings forecast”, but said “the company expects a net loss…for the first quarter and full year ending 30 November 2021”.
Carnival Corporation president and chief executive Arnold Donald said the quarter had seen a return to operations, "first in Italy for our Costa brand, then followed by Germany for our AIDA brand.
“We are now working diligently towards resuming operations in Asia, Australia, the UK and the US over the course of 2021."
Carnival has removed 15 of 19 “less efficient” ships from its fleet, representing 13% of capacity and “only 3% of operating income in 2019”. It will take only one of five planned ship deliveries this year.