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In this unprecedented situation several chief executives of ferry companies have shared a personal message with their passengers, customers and staff.

They wrote letters or made a video.

Ferry Shipping News is happy to share some of the finest examples. In these troubled waters it is good to get a more personal message, in addition to normal communication.

Alistair Eagles, CEO Seatruck Ferries is a frequent user of LinkedIn. Through this channel he published a letter on 23 March, providing an update.

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“I’d like to thank everyone at Seatruck and our customers. I’d also like to thank everyone else involved in transport and logistics from the drivers and technicians, to the staff in the warehouses, to the people in the ports, the stevedores and of course the crew on all vessels including those of our competitors. And a massive thank you to the families that support you, being a transport family is never easy but is even more difficult right now.”

Torben Carlsen, the CEO of DFDS has been vlogging regularly. On the 24th of April he already published Vlog 6 on DFDS News, a website mainly aimed at DFDS staff and crew.

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In a very natural and human way he talks mainly to the DFDS people, about why the long passenger routes had to be closed down temporarily and how agreements with Governments will help to re-employ the same staff after the crisis.

The format is very simple: just talking selfie-style, as he was talking to you personally. Because of the simple way of filming and communicating one can better feel Mr. Carlsen’s emotions, making it very honest.

Although a little more formal and more edited than the DFDS vlogs, this YouTube video is easy to understand and one can feel the honesty in Mrs Bell declaration. Janette Bell is the CEO of P&O Ferries.

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“Good afternoon everybody. My name’s Janette Bell and I’m the chief executive of P&O Ferries.

These are unprecedented times and I wanted to say a few words to the thousands of people who work for us, the millions who travel with us and of course the millions more who rely on our trucks and ships.”

Vincenzo Onorato has his own public Facebook page and published an emotional letter (in Italian).

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Vincenzo Onorato has his own public Facebook page and published an emotional letter (in Italian).

“In 62 years of life, I’ve never spent a single day without a fight.”
For many months now we have fought the assault of the speculative Funds that wanted to tear us apart for mere economic interests. We have faced the attacks of competition increasingly determined to destroy our reality on the seas.
Now, a new emergency, the Coronavirus is haunting our country and the entire planet.

We are still the first sea infrastructure in the country. Each year, we transport around 8 million passengers and about 600k trucks. We employ about 5.800 people from our country.

We are suffering: our first source of income, passenger traffic, has been practically reduced to zero. We will survive with the awareness that our unity makes us strong.

My thoughts go especially to the people of our Islands, who live mainly on tourism and I am very worried about them too.
It is necessary to have Faith in our Lord, but also on our abilities and determination to come out of this.

We’ll get through this too and we’ll be stronger than before.
The country will be stronger than before, the islands will rise stronger than before.

I am on the bridge day and night.”

Vincenzo Onorato


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Financial Aid to Fehmarn Project is State Aid Says Commission

After an investigation of the financing granted by Denmark to the Fehmarn fixed link project, the European Commission concludes that this constitutes State aid – as maintained by Scandlines.

The investigation was necessary, as the Court of Justice of the European Union in 2018 annulled the European Commission’s initial decision given in 2015, thereby removing the financial foundation for the Fehmarn project.

The ruling finds in favour of Scandlines’ claims by concluding – as opposed to the Danish state’s original assertion – that, firstly, the financial aid to the Fehmarn project constitutes State aid and, secondly, that both the amount and the aid period must be limited. These measures were not part of the initial decision.

The European Commission thus confirms by its approval that the use of State guarantees on loans and State loans must be limited to covering a debt of maximum EUR 9.3 billion, and maximum the first 16 years of operations.

When the European Commission’s decision has been made public in full, Scandlines will decide whether to appeal against parts of it.

Incat Tasmania Awarded New 76 Metre High Speed Catamaran Contract By Seaworld Express Ferry

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In a press release, Incat Tasmania announced an order for a new generation fast ferry for South Korean coastal passenger transport company Seaworld Express Ferry.

The 76m high speed wave piercing catamaran ferry will accommodate up to 700 passengers and 79 cars when it enters service on the new route between Jindo and Jeju early 2022.

Seaworld Express Ferry is the largest ferry company operating between the Korean Peninsula and Jeju Island, the country’s largest island and most popular domestic holiday destination.


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BC Ferries Matches Capacity to Meet Current Demand

BC Ferries is cancelling the additional sailings scheduled in April, in response to an approximately 40% decline in traffic as a result of COVID19.

Customers with reservations on cancelled sailings on the Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay, Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay – Langdale routes will be contacted by Customer Care and moved to the next available sailing.

Customers with reservations on cancelled sailings on the Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands will be refunded.