Restrictions New restrictions deepen Viking Line’s and Tallink Silja’s plight: “We’re going to fight this month, but this isn’t smiling now”

The share of commuters in the number of passengers in the companies is small. Viking Line, suffering from financial distress, and Tallink Silja hope that the restrictions will last only a month.

Mixed Viking Line and Tallink Silja consider Finland’s decision to tighten entry restrictions unfortunate but not fatal to the industry.

“We have lost all other passengers, and the share of commuters in the total number of passengers is quite small,” says Tallink Silja’s Vice President, Communications. Marika Nöjd says.

“Of course it’s sad for those who have to make a decision between work and family, for example.”

The government said earlier on Fridaythat, from next week, only essential commuting, such as security of supply, will be allowed across borders.

The restrictions will take effect on Wednesday, January 27, and will last until February 25.

Viking Linen Director of Information Johanna Boijer-Svahnström notes that the financial situation of the shipping companies is already poor and that the new government decision will not alleviate the situation.

According to him, Viking Line usually has about 6.4 million passengers a year, and last year the figure dropped by about four million.

“Of course, commuters are declining now, and that means more financial hardship for us.”

“We’re cheering this month, but this one isn’t smiling now,” Boijer-Svahnström says.

The Viking XPRS vessel operating on the Helsinki – Tallinn route arrived at Katajanokka Pier in Helsinki on 21 January 2016.­

Both the companies hope the restrictions will last only a month.

“Of course, we follow the regulations of the authorities, which is what we have done so far. Of course, we hope that society can be opened up as quickly as it is now closed, ”says Boijer-Svahnström.

“Here we now have to look ahead and try to believe in a brighter future. But sometimes it feels like when we take a step forward, we soon have to take two backwards. ”

Read more: The corona crisis drove shipping companies into a deep crisis, and now some fear the death of already traditional Swedish cruises and conference trips – “The coming summer is a lifeline for us”

Ministry of the Interior memo by the current subsidy for maritime transport connections is estimated to be sufficient until the end of February.

According to Boijer-Svahnström, there is a need for new support before the end of February, when restrictions will also be used to withdraw commuters from shipping companies.

“We’ve had some passengers, but now the situation has escalated. There will not be enough support money. ”

According to Tallink Silja Nöjd, it remains to be seen what economic impact the decrease in commuters will have.

“Freight is what currently brings in revenue. Commuters are a small part, but if some departures are unprofitable, then we hope they will be supported. It is not worth driving a loss-making route for a very long time, ”says Nöjd.

“But of course all the income is from Plus, whether it came from commuters or passengers on a five-hour cruise.”

Government The new restrictions decided by the Council will, among other things, suspend the movement of construction labor to Finland. Finland normally has tens of thousands of foreign construction workers, most of whom are from Estonia.

Estonia asked on Fridaythat Finland would ease the entry restrictions imposed on labor.

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