On Covid 19 Watch: INTERFERRY CALLS FOR GOVERNMENT CASH
Interferry, a global trade body, warns ferry operators need government financial backing to offset billions of dollars in losses to maintain lifeline services during Covid-19 pandemic.
Specifically, Interferry is asking from various levels of government, viz:
- Direct financial support to replace lost and severely reduced revenues
- Interest-free loans
- Tax relief from payroll taxes and other taxes
- Relief from fixed Port fees
The ferry industry transports more than two billion passengers annually - equivalent to the airline industry - along with 250 million personal vehicles and 40 million trucks and trailers.
Covid 19 travel restrictions have significantly reduced passengers carried, closed passenger ferry service entirely. However, many ro-pax operators continue freight service even if unable to transport passengers or personal vehicles.
Interferry CEO Mike Corrigan claims “declines in passenger traffic between 75 and 100%, reductions in vehicle traffic of more than 50%.”
The shipping association has membership of more than 260 companies across 40 countries. It plays a central role representing the industry on regulatory and policy matters, notably through its consultative status at the International Maritime Organization.