PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. – Without cruise passengers for several more months, Port Canaveral expects a $37 million loss in the next year, executives said.
The port reported it lost $17 million in its current budget year and responded to the extensions of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s no sail order by cutting 43% of its workforce.
Wednesday, Canaveral Port Authority commissioners talked about next year's budget as 115 of their colleagues went without their jobs.
Port Canaveral CEO Captain John Murray said they were laid off, furloughed or retired early.
"It's a not a pleasant thing to do but unfortunately, very necessary in the current environment," Murray said.
The no sail order from the CDC currently extends through September and the cruise lines themselves have voluntarily agreed to withhold carrying passengers until at least Halloween.
Murray predicted there might even be no cruises until early next year.
"With the changes that we've made to our overhead expenses, etcetera, we can go into next year quite safely and without any financial risks," Murray said. "Hardship, yes, but not running out of our resources."
The port pointed to a cargo business that’s still thriving. The business includes SpaceX operations like work on Falcon 9 rocket boosters and the Crew Dragon capsule, which returned to the port this month.
"We still have a revenue stream it's just not from the cruise operations. We'll have to look at how we restart cruises when the time comes," Murray said.
Cruising has restarted in Europe.
The port said it watch and learn from how a phased reopening of the industry goes there.