Greek Ship-Owners Association For Passenger Ships (SEEN): Complain About Unfair Competition With Airlines

The 50% protocol on ferries’ capacity seems to have provoked reasonable reactions among the Ferry Operators, especially since this is not applied on the airplanes. SEEN is talking about unfair competition while it is still unknown when ferries will eventually start operating on all their routes.

According to the chairman of SEEN, Mr Michalis Sakelis, May will close with a drop of almost 90% in passenger traffic as well as 80% in vehicles. Also, he is not very optimistic about June, as there are no reservations for tourism.

In July and August Mr Sakelis expects for a 50% reduced tourist season compared to last year. As far as the existing protocols are concerned, he underlines that they are prohibitive for the operation of the Hellenic Coastal Shipping. They may be satisfactory for this season but for July and August ferry companies will not even be able to serve 25% of last year’s traffic. At the same time, High Speed Crafts are not expected to be launched, meaning that all conventional ferries that are currently sailing should be subsidized, otherwise they cannot survive.

Finally, he concluded that SEEN has already agreed to work with reduced protocols but also made specific proposals long time before the decisions on airlines were made. As far as the air type seats onboard HSCs said that there should be similar regulations like in planes. Instead, it was decided that there will be no empty seats on the planes as on ferries. There is also a problem with the ship’s cabins as only one passenger per cabin is allowed, with the exception of a family. In that case, a ferry which can carry 100 trucks, need 100 cabins for each one of them, fact that will cause great financial losses. SEEN has suggested a passenger in every two square meter, which is a very safe distribution of visitors/passengers in a public space. With that proposal SEEN believes that the safety and hygiene conditions are excellent and insists to be implemented to everyone.

Spyridon Roussos (source