(AP) Carnival Corp. lost $2.8 billion in the third quarter, but shares rose Friday after the cruise line operator said bookings for the second half of next year are running ahead of 2019 levels.
Cruising investors are looking for any glimmer of hope for an industry that has been battered by the pandemic.
Still, the short-term outlook remains grim. Carnival said the rise in U.S. COVID-19 cases from the delta variant hurt sales this summer. Rivals Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line saw the same thing. New reported virus cases are trending slightly lower now.
Carnival said the average ship was only 59% full in August, but that was an improvement from 39% in June, and voyages generated enough revenue to cover cash costs.
“We reported a significant loss, so we haven’t recovered yet, obviously, but as we look ahead we see brighter days,” CEO Arnold Donald said in an interview. “If things continue to trend the way they are (with COVID-19 cases), we should see positive cash flow as we get our fleet sailing broadly again.”