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“Financial Aid Ok, But In Accordance With Existing Rules,” Says Emanuel Grimaldi

Q1: Finnlines Group’s revenue was almost on previous year’s level

  • Revenue EUR 130.5 million (-5%)
  • Result EUR 20.7 million (+28%)
  • Cargo units 186,000
  • Cars (not including passengers’ cars) 41,000
  • Passengers 121,000

“Operationally the quarter ended in difficult conditions, with a strong impact on passenger transport and a slowed down growth in business globally. Finnlines is not immune to this slowdown in global trade and we also need to mitigate the Covid-19 impact. Thus, we have taken steps to lower costs and have implemented cost-saving plan,” said CEO Mr Grimaldi in a news release.

“Governments across Europe have promised various emergency measures to shipping companies. This can lead to very unfair competition. Any financial aid has to be provided in accordance with existing rules, and that individual companies should not be singled out for support at the expense of more robust rivals. Any aid, either from governmental or from security of supply agencies, should be available to all shipping companies, regardless of their financial strength, in order to avoid distorting the marketplace and risking antitrust complaints. If the state intervenes, it has to intervene in a such way that it does not create unfair competition.”

Tallink Grupp To Get State Loan Up To EUR 100 Million

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The Government of the Republic of Estonia today approved the terms of a working capital loan to AS Tallink Grupp. The total amount of the loan limit is EUR 100 million and the loan can be issued in EUR 10-40 million tranches. The interest rate of the three-year maturity loan is 12-month Euribor +2%. The loan must be secured with the assets of the Company’s consolidation group and will be issued by SA KredEx.

The loan still needs to be approved by the Kredex Supervisory Board. This expected on Friday 15 May.


Tallink Grupp’s Q1 Shows A Deteriorated Overall Outcome – Freight Is Up

  • Unaudited consolidated revenue EUR 154.9 million (-13.4%)
  • Net loss EUR 30.2 million
  • Unaudited EBITDA EUR -1.3 million (3.8 million in Q1 2019).

The first two months of the year had set the company on a positive trajectory for the year with passenger numbers up in both January and February, by 12.4% and 8% respectively. However, as a state of emergency was declared in Estonia, Latvia and Finland due to the global coronavirus pandemic in mid-March and the company’s home market governments closed borders to stop the spread of the virus, the passenger numbers fell sharply by 59.3% in March and have reduced by 95.9% in April.

Good Start Of A New Era For Fjord1 – Q1 Results

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  • Revenue NOK 752 million (+17%) after the start-up of new routes on 1 January 2020
  • EBITDA NOK 194 million (+23%)
  • Reduced frequency on ferry and passenger boat routes due to travel restrictions have had a limited financial impact, although the effects on Catering and Tourism have been significant.
  • The vessel renewal programme is coming to an end, with five vessels delivered in Q1. Two deliveries remain out of a total of 25 new and upgraded vessels.
  • Fjord1 views 2020 as a ramp-up year, with the start-up of several new ferry contracts, the completion of the vessel newbuild programme and further progress in the electrification of the fleet. Fjord1 is well-equipped to navigate this more uncertain market environment, with a long-term contract portfolio of NOK 22.8 billion and exciting long-term prospects in the tourism industry.
  • Travel restrictions for technical personnel from Germany and Italy may delay the completion of electrification infrastructure. Such delays could postpone the start-up of fully electric ferry routes. This will in turn, postpone the release of government-funded NOx compensation for the new vessels, public infrastructure payments and expected fuel cost savings, as well as the turning point of the net interest-bearing debt.


  • Fjord1 believes there will be demand for safe, environmentally friendly and reliable transport in coastal regions in the future.
  • Fjord1 assesses new tender opportunities in the Norwegian market on an ongoing basis, as well as opportunities outside of Norway.
  • Fjord1 has a strong contract portfolio of NOK 22.8 billion in total value through 2033, excluding options and index regulation.
  • In 2020, revenue is expected to grow by 10-15% compared with 2019. The increase will be driven by the new ferry connections that started 1 January 2020.


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European Commission Adopts A Package Of Guidance And Recommendations To Coordinate A Safe Return To Travel And Tourism This Summer

Extract from yesterday’s speech (13/5) by Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager on the Tourism and Transport Package.

“The European Commission has adopted a package of guidance and recommendations, to coordinate a safe return to travel and tourism this summer. This package is built on the Joint European Roadmap towards lifting containment. It’s about coordinating, not replacing, the work that’s being done by businesses and by national and local governments in Europe.”

The essence:

  • Reopening borders
  • Possibility to travel between European countries
  • Travellers and workers need to know that the places that tourists visit are safe
  • EU consumers have a right to a cash refund, if that’s what they want. But many companies will come under pressure and this liquidity crunch would be less severe if customers accepted vouchers, instead of cash refunds. “So today, we adopted a recommendation on how to make these vouchers more attractive.”


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Fanølinjen Introduce New AI Information System To Avoid Long Waiting Times

The island of Fanø is a popular tourism destination. Guests can now get an estimated waiting time for their booking. The system is based on travel data from previous years, but it is also built so that guests’ travel patterns constantly make the system more intelligent.

“The ticket is fully flexible during the day, and customers can continuously get an indication of how heavy the traffic is and when some waiting is likely,” says Jesper Skovgaard, Molslinjen’s commercial director.


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  • DFDS’ LIVERPOOL SEAWAYS will be renamed PELAGOS by her new owners La Mériodionale.
  • “Every day, our ships cross the Pelagos Sanctuary, a maritime area with a rich and outstanding selection of wildlife.”
  • Tallink Grupp made the decision to add extra departures on the Tallinn-Helsinki route for shuttle vessel STAR. The group initially announced that Star will return to the route only for limited weekend departures from 15 May 2020, but due to increased demand and the company’s commitment to ensure maximum safety and adherence to distance requirements onboard, the company has decided to add further departures to the route already from 14 May 2020. Detailed information here
  • Grimaldi’s 1997-built EUROCARGO TRIESTE has been sent to the scrapyard in Turkey. The roro vessel experienced an engine room fire in November 2019.


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The scrubber conversions on Attica Group’s SUPERFAST XI and BLUE STAR PATMOS are moving on.

The “red” ship has been in Keratsini (DEH dock) since March 29, 2020, while the new front section for her new enlarged funnel has already been put in place.

Her “Blue” fleetmate on the other hand, has been in the Palumbo (Malta) shipyard since the beginning of March 2020 for scheduled repairs and dry docking, as well as to undergo a scrubber conversion too.

Unfortunately, the Covid-19 found the ship in the shipyard and kept her there. As a result, the work progress was relatively slow.

Both ships are expected to be ready by the end of May.

Damen Shipyards Group Marks Twentieth Anniversary Of Its Ferries Department

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The story of Damen Ferries starts just before the new millennium, when the management noticed high levels of activity in the fast ferry sector.

Damen entered the market with the acquisition of a license to construct the successful Australian River Runner design. The company’s first project in the sector was the construction of four River Runners for the Dordrecht Waterbus Service.

Shortly after this, Damen acquired its own yard in Singapore, as well as the design for the Flying Cat 40 – a very successful fast ferry of which over 60 vessels would be constructed. In time, Damen would develop this design into the Damen Fast Ferries 4010 and 4212.

Today, Damen builds a wide range of composite vessels at its dedicated Antalya yard in Turkey. In 2009, the product group expanded its reach with a broadened product portfolio that included larger road ferries alongside fast ferries. Damen Ferries has delivered ferries of diverse types and sizes to Europe, Africa, Asia and North and South America.

Damen Ferries continues to innovate with a firm focus on sustainability. As a result of the predicable – and relatively short – sailing routes encountered in waterborne public transport, the sector lends itself well to being the front runner in electric vessel propulsion.

Damen is building its electric and hybrid electric ferries as part of its E3 programme – environmentally friendly, efficient in operation and economically viable. The shipbuilder already has a number of so-called E-Cross ferry projects under its belt. This includes six hybrid diesel-electric Island Class ferries for BC Ferries in Canada, which are prepared for conversion to full-electric in the future when the regional infrastructure is in place.

Also for Canada, Damen is building a fully electric Road Ferry 6819E3 and a Road Ferry 9819E3 for Ontario. Another landmark project is Damen’s construction of seven fully electric 2306E3 Ferries for Arriva’s operation in Copenhagen.

Director Ferries Henk Grunstra, says, “We are very proud of what we have achieved over the last two decades. The world of maritime public transport has changed considerably in this time and we have changed with it, developing our product portfolio and production processes accordingly. We are looking forward to doing the same in the coming decades, responding to the market’s calls for increasing connectivity and sustainability and playing a leading role in the creation of waterborne public transport fit for the future.”  (Source: Damen press release)