SOUTHAMPTON-based cruise operator Carnival – which is planning a “large number” of redundancies – is set to drop out of the FTSE 100 list of biggest companies.

The owner of the P&O Cruises and Cunard brands has more than halved in value over the past three months because of the coronavirus crisis.

The budget airline easyJet, the Dorset-based aerospace business Meggitt and British Gas owner Centrica are also being tipped to slip out of the FTSE.

It could be the biggest reshuffle since the 2008 financial crisis, analysts say.

Helal Miah, investment research analyst at the Share Centre, said: "This reshuffle looks set to be one of the biggest in many years. We expect a minimum of four in, four out - but depending on market moves we could see more."

He said the "clearest candidate" to slip from the top index is Carnival, which has seen shares dive nearly 60 per cent since the crisis first hit Europe as travellers were left stranded on quarantined ships for weeks.

Further cruises have been halted and bookings have dried up, meaning its market capitalisation has continued to slide despite raising more funds to support the business.

Carnival told staff in May that it was proposing a large number of redundancies. It refused to reveal to the media how many jobs were likely to go, but sources suggested 450 posts were at risk.

Those of its 1,100 Southampton-based staff who survive the cull will have their hours and pay cut by a fifth until November.

The second most likely casualty of the FTSE reshuffle is easyJet, which only returned to the index in December 2019.

Similarly to Carnival, sentiment remains low as revenues continue to dwindle on the back of mass cancellations.