The Gozo fast ferry service is expected to publish an extended schedule on Wednesday 8th March, according to a statement made by the Minister for Gozo Clint Camilleri, and the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects, Aaron Farrugia.
The announcement comes after the service operators slashed its schedule multiple times throughout 2022, leading to complaints by a breadth of stakeholders ranging from Gozo’s business representatives, workers and even students.
Daniel Borg, CEO of the Gozo Business Chamber, had told BusinessNow.mt last year, “the departures are not aligned to work hours, what’s the use of having a boat leave Valletta for Gozo at 5pm when people are just leaving their offices at that time?”
The two operators of the service, Virtue Ferries and Gozo Quick Ferry had amended the schedule due to issues of feasibility and demanded Government financial support.
The Government has signalled that it is ready to financially assist the operators with a €12 million public services obligation (PSO) contract according to reports by local media, however, in order to grant additional subsidies, it requires approval from the European Commission due to the EU’s state-aid rules.
Notwithstanding the pending PSO contract, the Government will proceed with the extended schedule, which will primarily serve Gozitan workers and students who commute between the islands on a regular basis, in addition to those who use it for other reasons.
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