Tallinn (Estonia) - Estonia's ferry company Tallink Grupp has released its fourth quarter 2019, December and cargo numbers. While there was a new passenger record, other metrics declined slightly. Its passenger figure continued the increase trend and the company carried a record number of 9.763.210 passengers on its vessels and routes in 2019, which is a 0.1% increase compared to 2018 (in 2018 the company carried a total of 9 756 611 passengers). The biggest increase in the number of passengers was on the Finland-Sweden routes, where the company transported 1.7% more passengers in 2019 than in 2018.
In total the company transported 2.894.494 passengers on the Finland-Sweden routes in 2019 (in 2018 the figure was 2.845.616 passengers). The passenger numbers also increased on the Estonia-Finland and Latvia-Sweden routes, by 0.7% and 0.5% respectively. On the Estonia-Finland routes the company transported 5 115 602 passengers (5.079.861 passengers in 2018) and on the Latvia-Sweden route it transported 799 961 passengers (796.041 passengers in 2018). The number of passengers declined in 2019 compared to 2018 only on the Estonia-Sweden routes, where the company transported 953 153 passengers in 2019, which is a 7.9% decrease compared to 2018 (1 035 093 passengers in 2018).
The number of passenger vehicles in 2019 increased on the Finland-Sweden routes, but decreased on all the other routes. In total, Tallink Grupp transported 1 110 314 passenger vehicles in 2019, which is 1.3% less than in 2018 (1.124.693 vehicles in 2018). The number of cargo units transported by the company in 2019 also increased on the Finland-Sweden routes and Latvia-Sweden route and decreased on other routes. In total the company transported 379.634 units of cargo in 2019, which is 1.4% less than in 2018 (384.958 units in 2018).
"Considering the fact that our operations were affected by the planned dockings of several of our vessels in the first quarter of 2019, that the economic tensions both in our home markets as well as globally increased in 2019 and that competition on our routes increased, it is extremely positive that we have still managed to achieve growth in our passenger numbers in 2019. The record numbers are largely a result of a strong high season, during which we carried record numbers of over one million passengers in one month during a number of consecutive months," Paavo Nõgene, CEO of Tallink Grupp, said commenting on the results.
"The results of the fourth quarter were also impacted by the postal strike in Finland in November and early December 2019, which meant that our traditional Christmas offers did not reach many of our Club One customers in time and we can see a decline in the usual pre-Christmas travelling among our Finnish loyalty programme members. It is thus all the more positive that despite this hinderance, the numbers of passengers and passenger vehicles for the fourth quarter are still higher than those of the fourth quarter in 2018," Nõgene added.