“There’s only one reason there’s no ferry: people don’t want to walk.” Retorted Luís Miguel de Sousa to PCP leader, Ricardo Lume at today’s meeting. The ‘boss’ of the Sousa Group recalls that “the Regional Government invested three million euros for 12 trips and only 5,000 people booked tickets. ”
He stressed that nobody wanted to take a chance on the line, and in the end, they got the go-ahead to operate the route. However, at the end of the second year, they said enough was enough as there were not enough people travelling to make the route profitable. He went on to say that they would only be able to operate if they were given more money, or as he termed it, awarded ‘compensatory compensation.’
Luís Miguel Sousa also spoke bluntly refuting Ricardo Lume’s assertion that the ports are run by monopolies, stating that with regard to concession contracts, there are no monopolies. Moreover, he explained that “seven operators control 75% of the port operation in the world.”
Concluding, he huffily explained that they, as a group, had transported more than 7.6 million passengers (so obviously these enjoyed walking), and had only had 10 complaints. They had even sailed with just one passenger! Finally, he snapped out that it costs 4 million euros a year for fuel and that a new ship would cost around 100 million euros.
Of course, they could have made things a little easier if they had started advertising their trips and summer schedule in January rather than leaving it to June, therefore making it impossible for people to plan their summer holidays in advance.
info at madeira-weekly.com