TS Laevad seeks two backup ferries
TS Laevad OÜ, the subsidiary of the state-owned Port of Tallinn that is to take over operation of ferry traffic between Estonia's larger western islands and the mainland in the fall, is searching for two backup vessels in case the ferries currently under construction cannot be put into service.
According to regional paper Hiiu Leht, Hiiu County Governor Riho Rahuoja told TS Laevad CEO Kaido Padar on Wednesday that the decision regarding whether or not the residents of Hiiumaa, Estonia’s second-largest island, would get the ships promised to them should have been made already.
Padar responded that the company had not yet settled all details, but added that he was fully aware of the islanders’ justified expectations.
The company’s goal is to put the ferries being built in Turkey into service on the Hiiumaa line, and it is looking for backup vessels for the Saaremaa line, explained Padar.
According to the regional paper’s information, TS Laevad is looking for two replacement ships in case two out of four ordered ferries are not finished by the deadline and the company has to switch to Plan B. Padar noted that possible backup vessels exist, but it was too early to disclose their names.
In the long term, TS Laevad plans to either charter or purchase a fifth vessel in addition to the four new ferries regardless. Padar is optimistic about the ferries currently under construction and believes that at least three of them, the Tiiu, Leiger and Tõll, will be ready to enter service on October 1.