Almost a third of shore-based staff at Carnival UK have been made redundant this week, with another “significant proportion” of employees taking a period of sabbatical.
The cruise giant concluded its staff consultation on Tuesday (30 June), with a number of trade-facing sales roles among those jobs axed.
In a statement, P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said the company was “devastated” to have had to make the changes – describing how the heavy impact of the Covid-19 pandemic had forced “some really tough decisions to ensure we can sustain and protect our business for the future”.
"We appreciate it is a very difficult and unsettling time for everyone, but we have followed a clear and fair consultation process and considered all individual suggestions for new ways of working,” he added.
Ludlow said that while Carnival’s operations were paused, the company would be working “at the highest levels” on its programme to restart operations and begin a phased return to service for its ships - featuring “enhanced and approved” safety and hygiene protocols.
He also stressed that despite the loss of staff within its sales division, “the travel trade remains as strong as ever”.
“The reduction in sales team was, very sadly, a forced necessity due to social distancing and the limitations of shop and office visits,” he said.
“We remain committed to developing new ways of working to best support our agent partners encouraging agent feedback and including training and regular communication through our 15,000 strong agent Shine programme.
“We would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm our sincere thanks to all our agent partners for their mutual work supporting our guests during our pause in operations and we look forward to working together as we develop our re-start plans."