Carnival UK lays off a third of employees after extending cruise shutdown

After announcing that it is extending its global suspension of cruises until at least the end of September, and selling at least six cruise ships this year, Carnival has now confirmed that a third of its UK employees are being let go.

“We are devastated to have to take this action which has affected so many talented and dedicated colleagues,” said Simon Palethorpe, President, Carnival UK.

Simon Palethorpe, President, Carnival UK

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“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.

Palethorpe said that the lay-offs were a result of collective consultation as the company looks for ways to sustain itself through the unprecedented disruption caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has not only affected the holidays of our guests but it has also impacted every part of our business; our future deployment; the guest experience; our supply chain and our people on ship and on shore,” he said.

“Due to this impact we have had to take some really tough decisions to ensure that we can sustain and protect our business for the future,” he added.

The staff being made redundant will leave the company on June 30th and another significant proportion will take a period of sabbatical or unpaid leave.

Carnival UK is the British arm of the Carnival Corporation group

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“At the current time as our operations are paused, we are working at the highest levels to develop a comprehensive restart program to phase our ships back into service with enhanced and approved protocols that will keep everyone on board well and still give our guests an amazing holiday,” said Palethorpe.

The additional measures by Carnival to cut expenses through the global cruise shutdown come on top of its announcement earlier this month that at least six of its cruise ships will be leaving the fleet by September.

It’s not clear whether those six vessels will be from the Carnival Cruise Line brand alone, or the wider nine cruise lines owned by the Carnival Corporation group.

With all its cruise ships in lay-up, the company is currently burning through around US $650-million per month in expenses, without any significant revenue coming in.

Carnival Corporation had planned to resume cruises in a phased manner out of Miami and Port Canaveral in August, but with Covid-19 case numbers surging in the United States, it has since shelved those plans until at least the end of September.

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