Royal Caribbean sees ‘significant improvement’ in demand and pricing  

Royal Caribbean Group has reported a net loss of $1.3 billion for the three months to the end of June, compared to $1.6 billion year-on-year.

In April, it reported a net loss of $1.1 billion for the first quarter of 2021.

However, its Q2 statement said the cruise giant is “encouraged by the significant improvement in demand and pricing environments for cruises”.

It said cruising is being resumed at a “very fast pace”, with 29 ships now operating across its five brands, representing 42% of capacity.

By the end of this month, the group expects 36 ships to be sailing, representing more than 60% of its capacity.

The cruise line anticipates it will be operating about 80% of its capacity by the end of 2021.

Richard Fain, chairman and chief executive, said: “After 16 months of being at a virtual standstill and another painful financial result this quarter, the flywheel is clearly picking up momentum.

“Since the pandemic began, our objective has been to make our ships safer than Main Street, and today, we are proving that ambitious goal is achievable.

“We are also encouraged by the booking outlook especially for 2022 and beyond.”

More: Royal Caribbean extends UK domestic sailing season

The company said the booked load factor for 2022 is “within historical ranges” and prices for 2022 are up compared to a record-setting 2019, even including the impact of future cruise credits (FCCs).

Since its last business update, the company has announced itineraries for 21 ships to be sailing by August 31, 2021, which includes 12 ships departing from US ports. This is in addition to 15 ships previously announced sailing from ports outside the US.

The average monthly cash burn rate for the second quarter of 2021 was approximately $330 million, slightly higher than the previous quarter as additional ships returned to operations.

Jason T. Liberty, executive vice-president and chief financial officer, commented: “There is very positive momentum with our ships resuming operations and a healthy demand environment.

“We are very optimistic with our accelerated start in the US and globally.”

During the second quarter, the company received about 50% more new bookings compared to the first quarter, with trends improving from one month to the next.

By June, the group was receiving about 90% more bookings each week when compared to the first quarter.

Fain added: “The surge in bookings has been extremely encouraging especially for 2022 and beyond.

“The return of cruising has been faster than anyone expected, and we are excited to gradually restart our presence in our key markets.

“Overall, we remain optimistic in our mounting trajectory going forward. People also book their cruises long in advance, so we are concentrating on maintaining our price levels while growing our load factors.”

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