In the face of the global impact of COVID-19, the company paused its guest cruise operations in mid-March. The company expects to resume guest operations, with ongoing collaboration from both government and health authorities, in a phased manner. Specific brands and ships are also expected to return to service.
AIDA resumes cruise operations
AIDA previously announced it will resume guest cruise operations from ports in Germany beginning August 2020 with three of its ships, making it the first of the company's nine cruise brands to resume guest cruise operations.
AIDA will introduce additional safety and protective measures which will include pre-boarding health questionnaires and temperature checks for both guests and crew, physical distancing guidelines, routing systems on arrival, departure and onboard, increased mitigation and sanitation efforts in all cabins and public areas, as well as closely managing capacities at onboard experiences.
These measures have been developed with advice from medical experts and align with the current guidance from the World Health Organization ("WHO") and the German Robert Koch Institute ("RKI"), as well as other governmental and health authorities.
Carnival expects future capacity to be moderated by the phased re-entry of its ships, the removal of capacity from its fleet and delays in new ship deliveries.
As announced, the company intends to accelerate the removal of ships in fiscal 2020 which were previously expected to be sold over the ensuing years. The company sold one ship during June 2020 and has agreements for the disposal of five ships and preliminary agreements for an additional three ships, all of which are expected to leave the fleet in the next 90 days. These agreements are in addition to the sale of four ships, which were announced prior to fiscal 2020.
Overall, the 13 ships expected to leave the fleet represent a nearly 9% reduction in current capacity. The company currently expects only five of the nine ships originally scheduled for delivery in fiscal 2020 and fiscal 2021 will be delivered prior to the end of fiscal year 2021. In addition, the company expects later deliveries of ships originally scheduled for fiscal 2022 and 2023.
Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald noted:
We have been transitioning the fleet into a prolonged pause and right sizing our shoreside operations. We have already reduced operating costs by over $7 billion on an annualized basis and reduced capital expenditures also by more than $5 billion over the next 18 months. We have secured over $10 billion of additional liquidity to sustain another full year with additional flexibility remaining. We have aggressively shed assets while actively deferring new ship deliveries