Carnival posts $4.4 bln loss; choppy seas ahead

$4.4 billion. That’s the record quarterly loss announced by cruise ship operator Carnival on Thursday.

Half of that coming from a hole left after the sale of some its ships failed to fetch higher prices.

Business at the world’s largest passenger ship operator has been severely damaged by the current health crisis, with Carnival itself suffering an outbreak on more than one of its company cruise lines.

And the waters ahead appear to be anything but calm.

Carnival is burning through $650 million a month with its ships ordered to stay docked until regulators give it the okay to sail again.

And even when it gets the OK it is unclear on how soon customers will be willing to get on a ship.

Of the customers displaced by the halt in cruise operations, Carnival says half have requested full refunds and new bookings during May – for next year's cruises - were down from the same time last year.

Carnival has been forced to draw down on a $3 billion credit line, issue nearly $7 billion in debt and equity, and plans to renegotiate with creditors in order to keep going until its ships can back into smoother waters.