Norwegian Cruise Line doubts it will be able to continue operating

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Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, the world’s third-largest cruise operator, raised doubts about its ability to continue operating on Tuesday, the first in the sector to signal it may succumb to the coronavirus crisis.

Norwegian Cruise and rivals Carnival Corp and Royal Caribbean Cruises have been among the most high-profile victims of the pandemic after deadly outbreaks on some cruise ships led to extended port quarantines in Japan and California.

Norwegian, which has suspended its sailings through June 30, has not announced a relaunch date. On Monday Carnival said it plans to resume some cruises beginning Aug. 1, pending continued efforts to coordinate with government officials.

The cruise industry was left out of a $2.3 trillion U.S. stimulus package for troubled companies as the major players are all incorporated outside the United States.

“COVID-19 has had, and is expected to continue to have, a significant impact on our financial condition and operations, which adversely affects our ability to obtain acceptable financing,” Norwegian said, also flagging substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a “going concern.”

The company said that as of April 24, advance bookings for the remainder of the year were “meaningfully lower than the prior year, with pricing down mid-single digits.” Norwegian’s shares have lost almost 80% of their market value this year.

The Miami-headquartered company faces class-action lawsuits alleging that it made false and misleading statements to the market and customers about COVID-19 and its impact on its business – allegations it says are without merit.

Read more via Reuters

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