//Saga considers six-month suspension

Saga considers six-month suspension

Saga has said it is considering suspending cruises and tours for six months.

In a statement, the company said: “The group has considered several adverse scenarios and has built contingency plans around a central stress test assumption that the cruise business could be suspended for a period of six months, from mid-March to mid-September, with a suspension of tour operations until the end of August. Within this scenario the group has also assumed that departures in the second half of the year, once travel operations have restarted, would recover slowly.”

it added that it had been notified by the shipyard Meyer Werft that disruption arising from Covid-19 may delay delivery of Saga’s second new ship, the Spirit of Adventure, currently due to commence operations in August 2020.

Euan Sutherland, group chief executive officer, said: “Saga Insurance remains largely unaffected by Covid-19, however along with all other travel businesses, our travel business has been significantly impacted. We have acted quickly to ensure the health and wellbeing of our customers and colleagues and, following the government’s advice on cruise ship and air travel, we have suspended our cruise and tour operations. We have also worked with our banks to agree temporary amendments to our debt covenants. We have significant available liquidity and can consider a range of further mitigating actions across the group.

“Saga is a strong brand, with loyal customers and where we offer really differentiated products, underpinned by excellent service, our businesses do well and have potential to do better. Organisationally, the group had become inefficient, lost its tight focus on customers and had under invested in digital, data and brand. We have started the work to make the changes necessary for us to be able to deliver the truly differentiated products and services our customers expect from us.

“Against the backdrop of Covid-19, the outlook is uncertain, but we remain confident that the Saga brand, and our insurance and travel businesses have a successful future ahead.”