Around 8,000 passengers and 2,000 cars have made the Limassol-Piraeus ferry trip this summer with Cyprus’ Deputy Minister of Shipping Vassilis Demetriades telling Kathimerini Cyprus’ Oriana Papantoniou he was satisfied – since the total number of passengers exceeded expectations – but he remained cautious, stressing that this number may not be indicative.
“Many may have traveled out of curiosity to see what it’s like, others because they needed to. This number is not indicative,” he said, adding that the deputy ministry’s aim is to to see the route become self-sufficient. “In order to make reliable estimates, we need to see if the ferry connection can be made viable without state subsidies,” he stressed, referring to the subsidy that supports the program, while recalling that the contractual obligation of the company is to provide 22 round trips. Asked about the possibility of increasing that number, he said the aim is to have at least one trip per week and anything beyond that is left to the contractor company.
Demetriades also suggested a possible ferry connection with neighboring Israel, calling on the ferry company to try the Israeli market as well.