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New World First Ferry Services Limited (“First Ferry”) is pleased to announce that First Ferry has successfully tendered for the five-year ferry service licences for operating three outlying-island ferry routes, namely, Central-Cheung Chau, Central-Mui Wo and Inter Islands. The new licences will become effective from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2026.

 

With the profound and professional experience in operating the concerned ferry routes, First Ferry is dedicated to providing the excellent outlying islands’ ferry services to the public unceasingly. In addition, substantial resources would be provided for service enhancements such as:

 

1.         Increase in sailing frequency – a number of sailings would be added in each of the three outlying-islands ferry routes during peak periods

 

2.         Introduction of new fare types – “student monthly tickets” and “concessionary multi-ride tickets” will be launched

 

3.         Pier beautification

 

4.         Enhancement of ferry service information dissemination – “sailings’ real-time arrival time” will be disseminated through First Ferry corporate website and mobile application

 

First Ferry will also fully cooperate with the Government to launch the “Vessel Subsidy Scheme” to replace the fleets of the outlying island ferry routes by greener vessels in phases, to promote the eco-friendly technology in local ferry industry and to join hands to contribute to a cleaner harbour.

 

“I am happy to see that First Ferry successfully receives the operating licences of those three outlying-island ferry routes. The rapid spread of COVID-19 as a pandemic this year has further worsening the bad operating environment in 2019. Comparing with the same period last year, our overall patronage of those three outlying-island ferry routes for the first eight months in 2020 in average drops around 20%. Nonetheless, First Ferry still maintains the staff establishment to the level before the pandemic and there is no plan to cut staff or adjust the staff remuneration packages. First Ferry staff will stay united and work together as always to provide the quality outlying-island ferry services”, says Mr Alex Choi, Chief Executive Officer of First Ferry.

 

Under the new ferry licences, there will have around 4.6% of fare increment* to cope with the rise in the operating cost. The details of the fare arrangement will be announced next year in a timely manner.

 

*The calculation is based on the fares announced for the licence period of 2017-2020 but not based on the current fare concession scheme.