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Estonian ferry operator Vainamere Liinid registers surge in vehicles in April

06.05.2014 09:50

TALLINN, May 05, BNS - The increases in the numbers of vehicles carried by ferries between the mainland and Saaremaa Island and the mainland and Hiiumaa Island in April were the biggest through ages, the shipper, Vainamere Liinid, said on Monday. 

On the Heltermaa-Rohukula route to Hiiumaa the number of vehicles grew 30 percent and on the Kuivastu-Virtsu route to the islands of Muhumaa and Saaremaa it moved up 21 percent year on year.

The manager of Vainamere Liinid, Urmas Treiel, said the number of passengers was bigger not only during Easter but the whole month. "Easter saw an increase of 4-5 percent compared with last year. For sure demand was influenced significantly by the warm summer-like weather, since in previous years April has been a month of difficult ice conditions as a rule," Treiel said.

During the holiday period people wishing to go to Saaremaa mostly could board a ferry without having to wait, whereas on the Hiiumaa route the waiting time was up to three hours during periods of peak demand.

Treiel said bringing a new ferry to the Triigi-Soru route between the two islands would help intensify overall traffic. Passenger statistics shows that first you have to create an opportunity and growth comes in its wake, not vice versa. Having demand higher than supply for a longer period of time scares off customers, he added.

On the Saaremaa route Vainamere Liinid carried 99,948 passengers and 45,247 vehicles during April, respectively 22 percent and 21 percent more than in the same month a year ago. On the Hiiumaa route passengers numbered 34,684 and vehicles 15,547, marking increases of respectively 33 percent and 30 percent over April 2013. On the Triigi-Soru route volumes were broadly unchanged, with the number of passengers declining 6 percent to 1,288 and the number of vehicles climbing 6 percent to 665.

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