The fire-damaged Costa Allegra will not return to service, the top executive at Costa Cruises’ parent company revealed today.
Carnival CEO Micky Arison told Wall Street analysts during a conference call that the 1,000-passenger vessel, which needs costly repairs, will be sold or scrapped.
The 28,500-ton Costa Allegra is one of the oldest and smallest ships in the Costa fleet, and Arison noted that it had been for sale for some time before the much-publicized fire in one of its engine rooms Feb. 27. The company has completely written down the value of the ship on its books, he said.
The fire on the Costa Allegra occurred as the vessel was sailing in the Indian Ocean and resulted in a complete loss of power. The ship had to be towed to the Seychelles Islands.
This week, Costa announced that it was redeploying a similar-size vessel, the 927-passenger Costa Voyager, to take the Costa Allegra’s place in coming months on European itineraries. Previously scheduled sailings in the Red Sea on the Costa Voyager were, in turn, canceled.
The Costa brand has taken a significant hit in the wake of the Costa Allegra fire and the Jan. 13 crash of the Costa Concordia. Carnival COO Howard Frank told the Wall Street analysts today that Costa bookings plunged 80% to 90% in the first four weeks after the Concordia accident and have remained down by 40% to 50% in recent weeks.
The conference call with Wall Street analysts followed the company’s announcement of first-quarter earnings that were down sharply from a year ago. Not including certain non-cash charges, Carnival earned $13 million in the first quarter, down from $152 million in the same period in 2011.