Carnival-Owned Cruise Line Applies for State Aid

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Surprising news from Germany where AIDA Cruises have applied for financial aid in the form of a credit application. The credit is said to be in the region of €400 million.

The news comes from the North German radio station NDR, which first reported it. AIDA Cruises is the German subsidiary of the Costa Group, which belongs to Carnival Corporation.

The cruise industry is not doing well since the industry had to go to an operations stop in March. Companies are currently struggling to maintain profitability. Ships that have been sold or offloaded, loans have been taken out, and employees laid off are just a small portion of the many measures taken by cruise operators worldwide.

Credit application filed this week

According to the German radio station sources, the Rostock cruise operator AIDA has applied for state aid from the German Economic Stabilisation Fund for the sum of €400 Million. It would not be the first company to do so. MV Werften, owned by Asian cruise giant Genting, Mein Schiff and Marella operator TUI, and Lufthansa had applied earlier to the same fund.

An insider reported that the AIDA application had already been submitted to the Federal Ministry of Economics last week. It was submitted by a banking consortium, including the investment bank Goldman Sachs and US bank JP Morgan.

AIDA Cruises confirmed that talks are ongoing with the German Federal Government; due to confidentiality clauses, the company could not elaborate on any details. The Ministry of Economics in Germany refused to comment.

Stormy waters for the Cruise Industry

The longer the Pandemic takes, the cruise industry is taking more and more hits. While European voyages seemed to be on a positive upward trend, this has been quickly eliminated in the last week.

Costa Cruises, MSC, TUI, and AIDA all have had to halt operations due to the strict lockdowns implemented in Europe. AIDA Cruises had only been able to operate two cruises since March, both one-week trips onboard AIDAblu.

Carnival Corporation had already reported a loss of 4.4 billion dollars in the summer. Although positive news has been coming from the United States in the last two weeks with the lifting of the No-Sail-Order, the news this week from Europe is sure to bring back some frowns in executive offices.

Also Read: How European Cruises Could Be a Blueprint for U.S. Cruising

What’s next for AIDA?

As we said before, AIDA had only been able to sail two voyages since March. The company now plans to set sail for the Canary Islands, the Persian Gulf, and the Mediterranean:

  • AIDAperla and AIDAmar will both be doing sailings in December from Grand Canaria, including a stop in Madeira, Tenerife, and Lanzarote from December 2.
  • AIDAstella will be doing Mediterranean voyages leaving Mallorca from December 12, which includes stops in Barcelona, Marseille, Livorno, and Civitavecchia.
  • AIDA will also be one of the first to resume cruising in the Persian Gulf with cruises from Abu Dhabi to Dubai and Muscat onboard AIDAprima from December 15.

So although the current situation for AIDA looks bleak, with the voyages on the program, they might be able to start recovering.

Photo Credit: nitpicker /

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