The share of passengers opting to use the fast ferry has steadily grown from eight per cent to 13 per cent during the second quarter of 2023, as a record number of trips were carried out between Valletta and Mġarr.
Figures made available by the National Statistics Office demonstrate that between April and June a total of 11,159 trips were carried out, carrying a total of 1.72 million passengers, beating the previous Q2 record from 2019, when 1.57 million passengers were ferried.
While the largest share of trips was carried out in June (35 per cent), the largest share of passengers ferried was marginally higher in April, likely due to easter festivities since Easter Sunday fell on 9th April in 2023.
A total of 1.54 million passengers travelled across the Gozo Channel (Ċirkewwa-Mġarr) during the second quarter of 2023, an increase of 14 per cent compared to the corresponding quarter of 2022. This was coupled with a 2.7 per cent increase in trips and a four per cent increase in vehicles ferried between the islands.
Passenger traffic originating from Malta was busiest on Saturdays while vehicle traffic was busiest on Fridays. On the other hand, from Gozo, both passenger and vehicle traffic were highest on Sundays.
As for the fast ferry, the number of trips carried out during the second quarter hit a new high of 2,254. A total of 182,787 passengers made use of the service between May and July, a year-on-year increase of 44.6 per cent.
Interestingly, in absolute terms the number of passengers opting to travel with the fast ferry grew consistently from 48,600 to 75,749 during the three months question, while the number of passengers opting to travel across the Gozo Channel declined slightly, from 528,924 to 501,418.
Nevertheless, while fewer people used the Gozo Channel in June than they did in April, a larger quantity of vehicles were ferried between the two islands in the last month of the quarter.
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