BC Ferries’ fourth Island Class ferry launched early Thursday morning 17 December, entering the water at Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania.
BC Ferries released its second quarter results today for the three and six months ended September 30, 2020. COVID-19 continues to have a significant impact on the company’s operations and financial results.
- Net earnings for Q2 of fiscal 2021 were $37.8 million, $57.2 million lower than the same quarter of the previous year.
- Year-to-date, since April 1, 2020, net losses were $24.2 million, compared to net earnings of $107.2 million in the same period in the prior year, a decline of $131.4 million.
- Revenue for Q2, at $247.6 million, was down $81.7 million year-over-year.
- Revenue for the six months ended September 30, 2020 was $385.0 million, down $190.7 million over the same period in the prior year.
During the quarter, BC Ferries carried:
- 5.5 million passengers (-29%)
- 2.5 million vehicles (-14%)
Year-to-date, the company has carried:
- 7.7 million passengers (-43%)
- 3.8 million vehicles, (-28.7%)
November 4, 2020. Blue Star Ferries’ ropax BLUE STAR DELOS was transferred to the Perama repair zone (Dock 1) in order to undergo her scheduled scrubber conversion. The popular “blue” ship is expected to return in service in February 2021, while she will be replaced by her fleetmate BLUE STAR CHIOS.
The sisters BLUE STAR CHIOS and BLUE STAR MYCONOS will follow, undergoing a similar conversion.
On October 28, Damen Shipyards Galati successfully launched the third Island Class Vessel for BC Ferries. The vessel is part of an order of six such vessels for the ferry operator and will perform an environmentally efficient inter-island ferry service between Vancouver and Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.
BC Ferries received confirmation that the federal and provincial governments have allocated funds, to assist transportation and economic recovery, under the Safe Restart Funding Program.
The funding is going to be available for operational purposes, like wages, fuel and maintenance on the vessels.
COVID-19 had a significant impact on first quarter results (April-May-June)
- Net losses CAD 62 million (net earnings CAD 12.2 million)
- Revenue CAD 137.4 million (CAD 246.4 million)
At the outset of the pandemic, ferry traffic dropped dramatically and was down 75 to 80% across the system in a matter of days. With the easing of travel restrictions, traffic at the end of June partially recovered and was down approximately 35% compared to this period last year.
- -11.4% round trips 18,249.5
- -61.5% passengers 2.2 million
- -46.7% vehicles 1.3 million
BC Ferries is one of the entities included in the federal government’s transit funding of $540 million in response to the impact of COVID-19. This transit funding is to be matched equally by the Province for a total funding envelope of CAD 1.08 billion.
BC Ferries’ newest vessel, ISLAND DISCOVERY, officially commenced service on June 10 on the Texada Island – Powell River route.
ISLAND DISCOVERY is the first of a series of Damen hybrid-electric ships designed for future full electric operation. The ships are fitted with hybrid technology that bridges the gap until shore charging infrastructure and funding become available.
Her entry into BC Ferries’ fleet allows for the retirement of the 59-year old NORTH ISLAND PRINCESS.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BC Ferries created a short video with messages from
community representatives, so people can take a virtual tour of the ship instead.
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.
- Number of sailings: 44,000
- Passengers: 4.8 million (+0.7%)
- Cars: 2.0 million (+1.6%)
- Total revenue for Q3 increased by $3.2 million to $210.9 million (+1.5%)
- Total revenue for Q1+Q2+Q3 increased by $33.4 million to $786.7 million (+4.4%)
- The increase in revenue is mainly a result of increased vehicle traffic, retail revenue and the provincial contribution for its portion of the fare initiatives.
- Operating expenses for Q3 increased by $7.4 million to $205.7 million (+3.7%)
- Operating expenses for Q1+Q2+Q3 increased by $27.4 million to $646.8 million (+4.4%).
The increase in operating expenses is mainly due to higher labour costs and staffing level changes.