Pier Luigi Foschi, CEO of Carnival's Costa Crociere line, blamed the captain for a widely publicized accident that killed six people aboard its Costa Concordia boat this weekend. The cruise ship keeled over after hitting a rock late Friday.
"The company will be close to the captain and will provide him with all the necessary assistance, but we need to acknowledge the facts and we cannot deny human error," said Foschi.
Experts predicted that Carnival's 2012 earnings will take a hit of more than $90 million after Friday's accident. Meanwhile, the travel industry is closely watching the company as it tries to regain consumer confidence.
Paul Cordasco, MD of marketing and communications at Burson-Marsteller, confirmed that the agency was hired in Italy for the crisis and said it is “using its crisis network in numerous countries to support Costa.” He declined to comment on whether Burson is also handling outreach efforts in the US.
Carnival saw it shares drop close to 17% on Monday in London. The US market was closed due to the Martin Luther King holiday.