Carnival Corporation has reported a net loss of $2.2 billion for the fourth quarter of financial 2020.
The result comes as the Covid-19 crisis continues to take its toll on cruising and a number of Carnival-owned brands – including Holland America Line and Princess Cruises - have been forced to delay a return to operations.
The American cruise giant said cumulative advanced bookings for the first half of 2022 are ahead of 2019, despite minimal advertising or marketing.
Arnold Donald, Carnival chief executive, said: “2020 has proven to be a true testament to the resilience of our company.
“We took aggressive actions to implement and optimise a complete pause in our guest cruise operations across all brands globally, and developed protocols to begin our staggered resumption, 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.”
He added: “With the aggressive actions we have taken, managing the balance sheet and reducing capacity, we are well positioned to capitalise on pent-up demand and to emerge a leaner, more efficient company, reinforcing our industry-leading position.”
Carnival has also accelerated the removal of 19 older, less efficient ships, 15 of which have already left the fleet.
The 19 ships represent approximately 13 per cent of pre-pause capacity and three per cent of operating income in 2019.
Donald added: “The booking trends that we have consistently experienced throughout this period affirm the strong fundamental demand for our brands which will facilitate our staggered resumption and support the long-term growth of our company.”