HFD to Get Another Austal Fast Ferry
Austal Ships today announced a contract to build an 85 metre vehicle-passenger ferry for Greek operator Hellas Flying Dolphins (HFD). The catamaran is the fifth fast ferry HFD has ordered from Austal Ships, demonstrating ongoing confidence in Austal’s capabilities. HFD is Greece’s largest domestic ferry operator, transporting approximately 7 million passengers, 200,000 trucks and 800,000 cars every year. Due for delivery for the 2005 European summer and to be named “Highspeed 5”, the ferry will bring the total number of vessels in the HFD fleet to 24. Austal Sales and Product Development Manager Mr Glenn Williams said the contract rewarded the marketing effort the company has dedicated to the Greek market over many years.
Austal Participates in Posidonia
Austal is using its participation in the Posidonia exhibition in Piraeus this week to highlight its status as the leading supplier of modern fast ferries to the Greek market. This includes the first ever display of a model of the latest vehicle-passenger catamaran ordered by Hellas Flying Dolphins (HFD). Austal has recognised the potential for its efficient, custom-designed fast ferries within the Greek domestic trade for many years, a fact reflected in its long standing support of the Posidonia exhibition. This dedication to meeting the needs of the nation’s ferry operators has been rewarded with contracts for five aluminium catamarans in the last seven years – a sales record that places it well ahead of any other fast ferry builder.
Minoan Lines Subsidiary Orders Ferries
Minoan Lines subsidiary Minoan Flying Dolphins reportedly ordered three new high speed ferries from Australia's Austal Ships.
Greek Ferries: The New Business Model
The ultra competitive Greek ferry market has not only proven to be a fertile breeding ground for advanced marine technology, it has served as a role model for the direction of shipping services in both the region and the world. The Greek market has provided the collective builders and suppliers of advanced fast and conventional ferries a rich environment for business over the past few months, a trend that seems likely to continue. Specifically, Greek owners and operators have been at the forefront of an international buying binge for large, fast passenger, vehicle and cargo carrying craft. Driven by the need for speed, many owners are turning to advances in marine electronic and propulsion systems to ensure that the multi-million dollar investments are kept running safe and efficient.
New & Notables
Derecktor Shipyards delivered its 299 ft. (91 m) high speed catamaran, Flying Cloud, to Woods Hole & Martha's Vineyard Steamship Authority. Completed one week ahead of schedule, the vessel will be used for year-round passenger and vehicle ferry service to the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Attaining an excess of 39 knots during sea trials, Flying Cloud demonstrated high stability and ride comfort due to its dynamic ride control system. Its service speed of 36 knots will allow the ferry to cross from Hyannis Port to Nantucket Island in less than one hour - significantly lower than the conventional two hour crossing time. Flying Cloud is powered by Paxman 12VP185 diesel engines driving Kamewa 71SII waterjets.
Ferry Accident Blamed For Minoan's Plummeting Stock Price
Shares of ferry operator Minoan Lines fell around 11 percent in late session trade on the Athens stock exchange on Wednesday, near the bourse's 12 percent limit down, after one of its ferries sank late on Tuesday, killing 48 passengers. Traded volume was 979,939 shares. The shares were trading at 2,995 drachmas ($7.78), up slightly from its day low of 2,935 drachmas, representing a fall of more than 11 percent. But brokers said the share price loss was likely to be temporary. "Today's drop in the stock price is logical after such an incident. The slide may continue tomorrow but in the medium term things will change," said an analyst.
Minoan Ferry Sinking Cited as Worst Maritime Disaster in 35 Years
Rescuers pulled bodies from the Aegean sea on Wednesday as the death toll from Greece's worst maritime disaster in 35 years climbed to at least 62. The ferry Express Samina ran into a rocky islet off the holiday isle of Paros and sank in gale-force conditions late on Tuesday. Hundreds of Greek and foreign passengers were hurled into the rough waters. Twenty-nine people were missing, the Greek Merchant Marine Ministry said. Survivors described a night of terror, clutching life vests and floating debris, and of fishermen "heroes" who came to their rescue. An all-night, all-day rescue operation - reinforced by passing British warships - combed the seas off Paros, a popular tourist destination in the idyllic Cycladic island chain southeast of Athens, for survivors in gale force winds.
Minoan Shares Bounce Back
Minoan Lines shares were recovering on Wednesday after a five-day slide following the sinking of one of its ferries trimmed more than 25 percent from its stock value. A week after the Express Samina, a ferry operated by Minoan subsidiary Minoan Flying Dolphins, sank with the loss of at least 79 lives; Minoan shares were up 3.32 percent at 2,490 drachmas ($6.41). They closed at 3,300 drachmas ($8.50) before the Express Samina went down. Brokers said the recent slide of most ferry operator shares now offered investors attractive valuations following the sinking, which together with a government ban on various ferries for safety reasons affected the broader sector. In five days trading after the accident more than $160 million were wiped off Minoan's market capitalization.
Minoan Stock Continues To Fall
Shares in Greek ferry operator Minoan Lines slipped again on the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday following the sinking of the Express Samina ferry belonging to its subsidiary Minoan Flying Dolphins. Minoan was down 3.4 percent at 2,845 drachmas ($7.38) a share. It closed down 11.56 percent on Wednesday.
Greek Ferry Exec Plunges To His Death
A senior executive at the shipping company which owned a Greek ferry that sank in September killing 80 people, plunged to his death from the sixth floor of his office building on Wednesday, Reuters reported. Police said Pantelis Sfinias, vice president of the board of directors of Minoan Flying Dolphins, a subsidiary of Minoan Lines, was seen by passers-by and employees stepping off the building in the port of Piraeus. The Express Samina sank off the island of Paros with 500 people aboard in Greece's worst maritime tragedy in decades. Police said they believed Sfinias's death was a suicide. "When the ambulance arrived to take him to hospital he was already dead," a police official said. News of Sfinias's death shocked the company and the Athens Stock Exchange.
Greek Authorities Issue 32 New Operating Licenses
Greek Merchant Marine Minister Christos Papoutsis has signed 32 new operating licenses to passenger shipping firms in a bid to improve competition in the industry. "Until deregulation of sea travel in 2002, new applications submitted for licences will be examined immediately," the ministry said. "The criteria the applications will be examined upon will the public's interest, unimpeeded access to the islands and healthy competition." Greece has said it will liberalize island shipping by 2002, two years ahead of schedule, as a result of a recent ferry sinking that killed about 80 people. Company No. Licenses Strintzis Lines 4 Anek Lines 3 Lesvos Maritime 3 Attica Enterprises 2 Minoan Lines 2 Minoan Flying Dolphins 1 Other companies 17
Minoan Denies Reports Of Share Swap With P&O Princess
Greek ferry operator Minoan Lines dismissed press reports on Wednesday that cruise operator P&O Princess had expressed interest for its subsidiary Minoan Flying Dolphins (MFD). "I dismiss the content of the press reports. There is no official proposal by a foreign company for MFD. There is no proposal by P&O," a Minoan official said. It was reported on Wednesday that P&O Princess Cruises had expressed interest for a share swap. It quoted Minoan's board chairman as saying that the initial response was positive. However, Minoan officials denied that there was any validity to the statements made by the company's chairman regarding the swap.
Minoan Flying Dolphins Acquires Five Ferries
Minoan Flying Dolphins Acquires Five Ferries Minoan Flying Dolphins, a subsidiary of Minoan Lines, has acquired five used ferries that service routes linking the port of Piraeus with islands in the Saronic Gulf. The ferries are F/B Nefeli, F/B Georgios, F/B Saronikos, F/B Eftyhia and F/B Express Danae. "The move implements part of the company's business plan in the Saronic routes, a market of about three million passengers annually," a Minoan Flying Dolphins spokesperson said, without disclosing the cost of the acquisitions. The spokesperson said the five ferries transport about 800,000 passengers and 100,000 cars and generate revenues of about $6.3 million annually. Minoan Lines plans to list Minoan Flying Dolphins on the Athens bourse in 2000.
Minoan Studies Adriatic Market Expansion
Minoan Flying Dolphins (MDF), a subsidiary of ferry operator Minoan Lines, is looking into deploying high-speed ships in the Adriatic market. MDF took out an option for two additional newbuildings with Austal shipyards in Australia, deliverable in 2001. The company already has three high speed vessels on order with Austal.
Minoan Shares Performance Rated
Schroders Securities said in a research report that it rates shares of Greek shipping company Minoan Lines perform in line with the market, although anticipated industry activity may drive the shares to new highs. Analysts said shares were fairly valued on current fundamentals. On the issue of market consolidation, Schroders expects Minoan to continue its prudent acquisitions and not rush into consolidation The merger of Attica Enterprises and Strintzis Shipping Lines could have a direct short-term operating impact on Minoan's north Adriatic routes but should lead to a better long-term pricing environment. Future share price drivers are likely to come from corporate activity within the sector and the forthcoming float of Forthnet and Minoan Flying Dolphins, Schroders said.
Minoan Flying Dolphins To Order Three Ferries
Minoan Lines subsidiary Minoan Flying Dolphins will reportedly order three more high speed ferries at a cost of $150 million, bringing its total newbuildings to eight. The three new ferries will have a cruising speed of 30 knots and are expected to be delivered in Summer 2001, doubling the company's fleet of high speed ferries. Each of the ferries will be 459 ft. (140 m) long and have a capacity of 1,800 passengers and 250 cars, or 40 trucks and 100 cars.
Minoan Flying Dolphins Acquires Five Used Ferries
Minoan Flying Dolphins, a subsidiary of Minoan Lines, has five used ferries to service routes linking the port of Piraeus with islands in the Saronic Gulf. The ferries are F/B Nefeli, F/B Georgios, F/B Saronikos, F/B Eftyhia and F/B Express Danae. The five ferries transport about 800,000 passengers and 100,000 cars. The cost of the transaction was not disclosed. Minoan Lines plans to list Minoan Flying Dolphins on the Athens bourse in 2000.
Minoan Subsidiary Picks Up Three More Vessels
Minoan Lines' 70 percent-owned subsidiary Minoan Flying Dolphins has maintained its very active buying spree of late with the announcement that it has acquired three ferries from the shipping family Nomikos for an undisclosed amount. The ferries are F/B Anemos, F/B Lemnos and F/B Macedon. F/B Anemos services the sea route linking the port of Piraeus with the islands of Ikaria and Samos in the Dodecannese, also making stops in the Cycladic islands. The other two ferries operate in the routes to the Sporades island group. Minoan Flying Dolphins (MDF) said the three ferries have a combined annual turnover of about 2.05 billion drachmas ($6.51 million), carrying 300,000 passengers and 50,000 cars to the Sporades annually and 125,000 passengers to the Dodecannese destinations.
Minoan Flying Dolphins Buys Six Ferries
Minoan Flying Dolphins bought six ferries, operating in the sea routes linking the ports of Piraeus and Rafina with the Cyclades islands, from businessman Costas Agapitos. The cost of the acquisitions was not released. The ferries are Express Afrodite, Express Athena, Express Apollo, Express Hermes, Express Olympia and Express Santorini. The fleet additions will quadruple the present carrying capacity of Minoan Flying Dolphins in the Cyclade island routes. The number of passengers is expected to increase by 18,000 daily.
Minoan Lines Expects 58% Profit Increase In 1999
Minoan Lines expects its group 1999 profit to grow 58 percent to $49.4 million. Company officials said that revenues from its Greece to Italy routes in the first 10 months of the year were up 15.1 percent to $71.9 million. Total revenues in the same period from its international routes were up 9.5 percent to $90.9 billion. "Based on the 10-month results, Minoan Lines managed to achieve significant revenue growth despite the Kosovo crisis which affected the first half results," company officials said. Revenues from domestic routes in the first 10 months of the year were maintained at last year's levels and reached $34.1 million. Minoan Lines has ordered seven newbuildings at a cost of $660 million.
Minoan Flying Dolphins Acquires 10 More Ferries
Minoan Lines subsidiary Minoan Flying Dolphins added to a recent flurry of vessel acquisition with the purchase of 10 more ferries for an undisclosed amount, bringing its total fleet to 63 vessels. The ferries purchased are: Poseidon Express II, Pegasus, Milos Express, Papadiamantis, Poseidon Hellas, Aeas, Apostolos, Hellas, Aphaea and Aegina. Minoan Flying Dolphins' fleet includes 34 new technology ships, 25 of conventional technology, and four RoRo ships.
Minoan Buys Four Ferries
Minoan Flying Dolphins acquired four ferries operating on routes to the Cyclades islands and the Argosaronic gulf. The vessels, which link the port of Piraeus with Paros, Naxos, Ios and Santorini with route extensions to Sikinos, Astypalea and Folegandros are expected to contribute about $7.9 million in revenues to the firm's total turnover. The latest purchases bring the company's total fleet to 67 vessels.