Britain’s Saga says travel, cruise operations will not resume until late-2021

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Britain’s over-50s holidays group Saga on Wednesday pushed the resumption of its cruises to later this year after the government hinted that pandemic-led travel curbs could continue beyond May.

The company, which secured a debt waiver last year after raising 150 million pounds ($206.84 million), confirmed it had cut 36% of its workforce, or roughly 1600 employees, to tide over the health crisis.

The UK travel industry is dealing with fresh uncertainties despite a swift COVID-19 vaccination rollout, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying it was too soon to say whether international summer holidays can go ahead this year.

Saga had earlier planned to restart its cruises in May, taking measures including mandating vaccinations for its travellers after customer feedback, cutting guest capacity and having a multi-layer COVID-19 testing to attract people.

The owner of Saga Holidays and Saga Cruises did not provide earnings outlook for the current year and posted a pretax loss of 61.2 million pounds for the 12 months ended Jan. 31. The company had posted a loss of 300.9 million pounds a year earlier.

But, the company still managed to make a profit of 17.1 million pounds on an underlying basis as its insurance business recorded earnings of 134.6 million pounds during the year, helping offset a loss of 78.5 million pounds in the travel segment.

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