ECONOMY

Pricier fuel bumps up ferry ticket prices

Despite the government?s move to abolish passenger levies for third parties, the prices for tickets on passenger ferries remain at last year?s levels, while in some cases they are marginally higher.

This is due to the increase in fuel prices, which led to an 8 percent fare hike in April. The reduction that followed after the government measure amounted to an average 7.4 percent.

?Tickets cost the same as last year, but for journeys to certain destinations there is a very small increase that amounts to less than 1 euro per ticket,? a ferry company source said. ?As long as the value-added tax is at 13 percent for passengers and at 23 percent for vehicles, the fare will still be seen as high. Only a VAT cut will help make tickets more affordable,? the source added.

Coastal shipping companies are now desperately waiting for the months of July and August in hopes of covering their losses. Fuel amounts for some 70 percent of the daily operating cost of a ferry, with company sources suggesting that the monthly revenues of a coastal shipping firm are enough only for fuel and for crew salaries.

Notably, it is said that for every 1,000 euros of revenues for the firms, the operating cost of a ferry comes up to 1,500 euros.