An increase in fuel prices has significantly burdened shipping companies, creating pressures to increase ferry ticket prices, according to Mihalis Sakellis, chairman of the Association of Passenger Ship Operators, speaking on Monday.doing business
Sakellis noted that an increase in business was accompanied by a 29 percent increase in fuel prices in 2017 and by another 25 percent in 2018, a development that cost companies 100 million euros, or 15 percent of their total income from fares .
He called for a reduction in VAT rates to 13 percent in order to cover increased operating expenses without raising transport costs. He added that, depending on the shipping line, 30-50 percent of passengers travel with discount tickets.
Sakellis said that coastal shipping concerns would also be facing further increases in the cost of doing business by an additional 30 percent, due to their obligation to consume “cleaner” fuel beginning in 2020.
A total of 74 vessels are currently operating in coastal shipping lines in the Aegean and the Ionian Seas, 13.5 percent of which are over 40 years of age.
Sakellis said that by the end of the next decade, forty-one ships, or 55.5 percent of the total, will be more than 40 years old, necessitating the gradual replacement of the fleet.