'This ambitious shipbuilding plan will mark the beginning of a constant growth to give our guests increasingly modern ships and attractive itineraries,' MSC Cruises founder Gianluigi Aponte said.
'We are proud to have accomplished such an important project—a ship for a new customer, the largest one ever built in Italy,' Fincantieri CEO Giuseppe Bono said. 'This demonstrates not only our ability to satisfy the needs of the shipowners, but also the extraordinary operational level which Fincantieri has achieved.'
With 20 shipyards in four continents and 19,400 employees including 8,200 in Italy, Fincantieri has developed a solid financial and economic structure with €4.5bn revenues and a €25bn backlog which is aimed to go to €30bn by the end of 2017, Bono added.
'Without such achievement, we couldn’t have launched an agreement on a large scale with France for the establishment of a European group leader in the civil and naval shipbuilding, destined to become one of the major players at a worldwide level,' the Fincantieri chief continued.
Bono said a new industrial reality will emerge from Fincantieri's integration with France's Naval Group and STX France. This will have a presence in more than 20 countries, around 35,000 employees and allied activities in Europe involving a projected 120,000 people and capable of generating annual revenues topping €10bn and an order backlog of over €50bn.
For MSC Seaside, a €700m investment by MSC Cruises, some 2,000 workers were involved, peaking to 3,300 just prior to delivery. More than 7,000 workers have been engaged at the Monfalcone yard with both Seaside ships, including 2018's MSC Seaview.
Executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago noted how MSC Cruises otherwise benefits Italy's economy. In 2018, the line will transport 3m passengers through 14 ports with each passenger spending an average of more than €100 per destination.
He added that the cruise sector boosts national employment and MSC's newbuilding program in future years could require 30,000 workers. If labor laws are modified, that could mean jobs for many young Italians.