Royal Caribbean Group has posted a second-quarter net loss of $1.6 billion, as the global pandemic continues to take its toll on the travel sector.

The cruise giant made a profit of $472.8 million in the same quarter last year.

In May 2020, it posted a first-quarter loss of $1.4 billion.

The parent company of Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea paused all operations amid the global Covid-19 pandemic on March 13.

Richard Fain, chairman and chief executive, said in a trading update: “Our teams are working tirelessly to return to service soonest and doing so by developing new health and safety protocols to protect the well-being of our guests, crew and destinations we visit.

“In the meantime, we are using this time to refine our operations to be as efficient as we can while providing the great experiences that so many people are eagerly awaiting.”

Bookings for the remainder of 2020 are “meaningfully lower than same time last year and at lower prices”.

However, the company added that “the booked position for 2021 is trending well and is within historical ranges”.

It has been offering customers affected by cancellations the options of future cruise credits or the opportunity to ‘Lift & Shift’ their booking to the same sailing the following year in lieu of cash refunds.

About 60% of the 2021 bookings are new and the rest are due to the redemption of future cruise credits and the ‘Lift & Shift’ programme.

Almost half (48%) of the guests booked on cancelled sailings have requested cash refunds.

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Jason T. Liberty, executive vice-president and chief financial officer, said the company is taking “substantial actions” to bolster its financial position.

“We have accessed the capital market in an opportunistic manner and continue to aggressively manage our spend,” he said.

“We are prepared to navigate a volatile period while making decisions that position the company well for the recovery.”

Royal Caribbean Group estimates its cash burn to be between $250 million to $290 million per month during the suspension of operations.

Earlier this month, it announced it will be extending the suspension of sailings to include those departing on or before October 31, 2020, excluding sailings from China and Australia.

Last month, it changed its name from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd to Royal Caribbean Group.

Fain said the new name is “simpler, fresher and more modern” and more reflective of the group’s identity as a parent company.