Estonian shipping line Tallink has reported its highest monthly passenger figures since August 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic hit. Tallink runs both short haul ferries between, for instance, Tallinn and Helsinki, and longer-distance Baltic cruise liners.
CEO Paavo Nõgene said of the results that: "It has taken 34 months to see the kind of passenger numbers we were used to seeing before the Covid pandemic, but I am pleased that we have been able to prove that with hard work, good teamwork and loyal customers, this is possible."
"We are happy that we have been seeing our Finnish customers returning on board in greater numbers again, and that customers from a bit further afield in Western Europe have also found their way back to us in July in particular. Our crew is enjoying hearing much more Finnish, Swedish, English, German, French, and many other languages, spoken on board our vessels once again," he went on," adding that there had been a surge in children and younger people traveling with the company.
Tallink announced its figures today, Wednesday: It carried 897,828 passengers in July this year, as noted the highest figure for a single month since August 2019 and also a 102.2 percent increase on the same month last year (when 444,112 passengers travelled with Tallink).
The number of passenger vehicles similarly rose, by 46.6 percent on year to July, to 127 039 vehicles.
The largest increase in passenger numbers is evident on the Finland-Sweden routes, Tallink says, where passenger numbers rose by 141.9 percent on year to July 2022.
Steady growth has also been seen on the company's other routes between Estonia and Finland, and Estonia and Sweden, Tallink says, attributing this partly to a rise in the number of services, and partly to the lifting of Covid restrictions in spring 2022 in Estonia and the overall pandemic situation stabilizing in all key home markets at around the same time.
Cargo, less heavily affected by the pandemic, nevertheless also saw growth, Tallink reports. Units rose 17.8 percent to 32,700 on year to July 2022.
The company has also leased out two of its vessels for the housing of people who have fled Ukraine in the wake of the Russian invasion. One has been moored off Tallinn since April, while another, the MS Victoria, is currently moored off Edinburgh, Scotland. The company also recently announced it had leased two vessels to the government of the Netherlands, for the same reason.
Editor: Andrew Whyte