Carnival needs to set sail again and generate jobs

The global travel and tourism industry has been badly hit by COVID-19 and this is noticeable in the overall hiring pattern. Companies across the tourism industry are struggling to stay afloat and cruise liners such as Carnival is no exception as the British-American company is in dire straits to sustain operations, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

There have been some signs of recovery in Q3 as the industry seems to be hiring once more, albeit cautiously, in preparation for the November 2020–February 2021 holiday season. However, on October 01, 2020, Carnival, following the US CDC decision to extend its ‘no sail order’, cancelled cruises from all US homeports except Miami and Port Canaveral until January 2021.

Aurojyoti Bose, Lead Analyst at GlobalData, says: “For a luxury travel business such as Carnival, the pandemic caused operations to halt in late March 2020. Hiring activity was increasing in Q1 2020 before seeing a decline soon thereafter as the company reported layoffs and furloughs, along with the challenging repatriation of crew members. The company reported a net loss of US$2.9bn in Q3.”

Carnival is cutting costs and expects to bring down its average monthly burn rate by 30% from US$770m in Q3 to US$530m in Q4 2020. The company sold 18 of its ships recently for operational efficiency and enhanced liquidity. Additionally, the cruise operator offered to raise US$1bn via stock sale in September 2020.

Animesh Kumar, Director, Travel & Tourism Consulting at GlobalData, comments: “The cruise industry has been deeply impacted by COVID-19 and its reputation as well as financials have taken a severe hit. Since the beginning of the crisis, operators have either been suspending all voyages or cancelling a number of cruises. Industry stakeholders previously hoped that operations would resume from November, which is a key season for the industry. However, several operators are continuing to cancel cruises until the end of 2020 and early 2021 and authorities are extending no-sail orders. While there is no clarity around when operations will return to pre-COVID-19 levels, bookings for 2021 continue to rise, which indicates that the industry has the potential to bounce back strongly post-COVID-19.”

A look at Carnival’s senior-level job postings in Q1 indicates that the company had strategic business plans in place as it posted more than a dozen senior-level jobs. Most of the jobs were at the Director-level for its head office in Miami.

Additionally, the company also listed a job for a Vice President, Global Sourcing – IT, with a plan to build and execute Information Technology sourcing strategies, while collaborating with its partners on an annual spend of over US$150m.

Bose concludes: “The senior roles indicate Carnival’s plans to have a leaner fleet, rationalize its 40,000 crew, cut costs and boost revenue prospects. However, since the unprecedented lockdown, Carnival has posted only three senior positions in Q3, preceding Q2 that saw no key additions as the pandemic directly impacted recruitment activity.”

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