Interview of Mr Spyridon Paschalis, Chairman of the Hellenic Association of Passenger Shipping Companies

By | 2022 Newsletter week 44 | No Comments

The Chairman of the Association of Passenger Shipping Companies in Greece, Mr Spyridon Paschalis gave an interview on October 27 to the traditional financial Greek newspaper NAFTEMPORIKI. The highlights of that interview are:

  • The Hellenic Ministry of Shipping subsidizes every year the country’s barren lines with EUR 130 million. However, the debts of the Ministry to the coastal shipping companies which after securing tenders serve “barren” lines in return for subsidies exceeding EUR 80 million.
  • A significant part of these compensations (over EUR 48 million) is owed to Attica Group, the country’s largest ferry operator.
  • Delays in the payment of compensation seem to have also affect negatively the last tender held on October 20 by the Ministry’s Coastal Transport Council, as the Greek ferry operators were reluctant to bid for the next season’s barren lines.
  • Greek ferry operators were forced to increase the price of ferry tickets, the summer 2022, since the state could not find a viable solution to equalize the operating costs from the rise in the international price of fuel. Otherwise, the companies would have to go bankrupt.
  • Mr Paschalis underlined the need for the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy to proceed with the formation of a committee made up of representatives from the classification society, ferry operators as well as those in charge of the Ministry for European programs, to form a specific plan for the next day and how ferry operators will proceed to the construction of more friendly to the environment newbuilding vessels. He also highlighted the need for the formation of a national strategic plan over the course of a decade for this purpose.
  • Hellenic Association of Passenger Shipping Companies is aware of the fact that among the articles of the recovery plan there is one that provides EUR 150 million for upgrades for the “greenization” of the current Greek Coastal Fleet as well as another EUR 1 million for a study on the renewal of the Hellenic Coastal fleet. This money will be given to the companies directly and not as a loan.
  • Τhe Hellenic Association of Passenger Shipping Companies, without having any official information but only based on some official announcements, has understood that the Ministry of Shipping seems to have managed to secure some European resources of EUR 80 million for the “greening” of the Greek Ferries, which could possibly be increased to EUR 370 million, under conditions. However, it is not clear yet how these funds will be allocated nor under what conditions and on what lines.
  • Mr Paschalis underlined that the Recovery Fund has an expiration date (31/12/2026), while the European Union is currently subsidizing only the additional costs that will come up from the “greening” upgrade process of a ship. That in comparison with a pure conventional ferry.
  • Greek Ferry Companies have been through a 12-year-old crisis since 2010 (memorandum, pandemic, fuel crisis), which makes them unable to finance the development as well as the construction of newbuilding ships more friendly to the environment.

Fast Ferries’ HSC THUNDER transferred to the Piraeus-Cyclades-Crete line

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  • On October 20, 2022 the Coastal Transport Council of the Hellenic Ministry of Shipping approved Fast Ferries’ request to transfer its vessel HSC THUNDER —for the summer season 2023— to the Heraklion (Crete)-Cyclades-Piraeus line.
  • The ship will sail from the port of Heraklion at 7:00 and from the port of Piraeus at 9:00. Every Wednesday she will stay in Heraklion or she will make a trip to Mykonos and back to Heraklion.
  • HSC THUNDER will perform the opposite sailings with Minoan Lines’ HSC SANTORINI PALACE. Something that will help both ships as well as their agents to manage better their clientele.

INTERVIEW

By | 2020 Newsletter week 27 | No Comments

Fast Ferries, One Of The Last Traditional Greek Ferry Operators

Ferry Shipping News has visited the traditional family-owned Fast Ferries and had a short conversation with the Commercial Manager, Mr Dimitrios Tsoumas.

The company and its activities, the ports they are operating, the consequences of Covid-19 as well as the emission regulations were some of the topics discussed.

Fast Ferries’ EKATERINI P. is getting prepared for the summer 2020

By | 2020 Newsletter week 26 | No Comments

The repair works on the Fast Ferries’ EKATERINI P. engine room are intensive. A development that shows the intention of her operator to reactivate her for the summer season 2020.

The ship had suffered serious engine damage on April 2019 and led her to the Perama Repair Zone in order to install new engines.

On February 2020, the two brand new MAK-Caterpillar 8M32C (7,200kW) arrived from Germany and have already replaced the older Daihatsu machinery set (7,000 kW).

EKATERINI P. will undergo her dry docking from 13 to 16 July. On July 22 she is expected to have her first sea trials testing her new engines. In any case, Fast Ferries is examining the developments very carefully in order to decide whether it is better for the company to reactivate the ship or not. Meanwhile, the current bookings are not so encouraging.

FERRY SHIPPING

By | 2019 Newsletter week 35 | No Comments

Fast Ferries confirmed the purchase of the HSC TURGUT OZAL of the Turkish Istabul Deniz Otobusleri Sanayi.

The Panagiotaki’s family tug PANTOKRATOR is already in Constantinople for the delivery. The ship was renamed THUNDER and she is expected to arrive in Greece within the next few days.

THUNDER was built in Australia (Austal) in 1998 and served the Yenkapi (Istanbul) – Bandirma run. She is 5.992 gt and 86,6m long

Her carrying capacity is for 800 passengers and 200 private cars. She has 4 MTU 20V1163TB73L diesel engines (24.000 kw) and her service speed is 37 knots (42 knots max).

The ship will be ready to serve the Hellenic Coastal Lines next summer season 2020.

FERRY SHIPPING

By | 2019 Newsletter week 22 | No Comments

On May 31, 2019, HELLENIC HIGHSPEED (4.662gt/1997) will finally be introduced on the Rafina-Tinos-Mykonos-Naxos run on behalf of Fast Ferries.

The ship was chartered -last April- by Fast Ferries in order to replace EKATERINI P. (3.948gt/1990) which suffered serious engine failure.

HELLENIC HIGHSPEED will depart daily from Rafina at 08:05 and return from Naxos at 16:20.