The focus of passenger shipping company Minoan Lines is now on Greece, its managing director Antonis Maniadakis said this week days after Grimaldi Group’s announcement that the company had exited the Adriatic service.
“Having assessed changes in the operational conditions, Minoan Lines has decided to focus on the further development and upgrade of the Greek ‘seaway’”, he said, attributing the decision to stop its Adriatic route after 35 years of operations to “the significant decrease in passenger traffic on the Adriatic routes, mainly due to low cost airlines, the ‘opening’ of the Balkan highways and the recent increase in fuel prices together with the reduction of the euro/USD exchange rate” – factors which he said would directly affect the company’s profitability.
Maniadakis went on to add that Minoan’s “objective now is to acquire the majority stake in Hellenic Seaways.
The Crete-based company already holds a 48.4 percent stake in the Hellenic Seaways with plans to also expand into new short or medium distance routes with new ships aiming at providing high quality services similar to those offered on the Heraklion-Piraeus line.
Minoan Lines, he added, will continue to serve as a General Sales Agent for all Grimaldi Group vessels.
Concluding, Maniadakis underlined the need to restructure and upgrade the Greek ferry services sector in order to “ensure credibility that will lead to friendlier bank lending terms and in turn to healthy financial operations”.