Losses incurred by the ferry industry due to Covid-19 are expected to reach billions of dollars
Interferry has warned that ferry operators need government backing to offset unsustainable losses incurred while maintaining lifeline services during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The trade association, on behalf of its members, is calling for all levels of government across the globe to include the ferry industry in their respective Covid-19 financial aid packages.
It said this support will be crucial for ferry operators to continue providing essential services to the communities they serve during these unprecedented times, and to ensure critical infrastructure and personnel are available once the global economy begins to recover.
Interferry is asking for support for the ferry industry from various levels of government as follows:
The ferry industry transports more than 2Bn passengers annually – equivalent to the airline industry – along with 250M personal vehicles and 40M trucks and trailers. Interferry said that worldwide, Covid-19 travel restrictions have significantly reduced the number of passengers carried, and in many locations have closed passenger ferry services entirely. However, many ropax operators continue to provide freight service even though they are no longer able to transport passengers or personal vehicles.
“Ferry operators understand the essential role they play in keeping the supply chain channels open,” said Interferry chief executive Mike Corrigan. “These companies continue to provide lifeline service, recognising they are incurring mounting financial losses that are unsustainable over the longer term. Operators are reporting declines in passenger traffic between 75% and 100% and reductions in vehicle traffic of more than 50%.”
Mr Corrigan added “Interferry would also like to recognise the extraordinary efforts and sacrifices ferry crews across the globe are making to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of vital goods. With families at home to worry about, and an end to the Covid-19 crisis still unknown, ferry crews are showing up for work each day to ensure that ships sail and goods get delivered.”