After winter stop, Ponte Ferries says it does not intend on continuing Augusta route

Sicilian media outlet reports that Ponte Ferries has written to the port authority’s saying it does not intend on continuing its Malta-Augusta service

Ponte Ferries has written to the Sicilian port authorities asking to revoke its concession to operate the Malta-Augusta fast ferry service, according to a Sicilian media outlet. reported on Tuesday that Ponte Ferries does not intend on continuing its service to Augusta.

They quote the president of the Eastern Sicily Sea Port System Authority: “For their own reasons, they could not continue the service and therefore have asked us to revoke the concession.”

Ponte Ferries had announced a pause in its operations last September for the winter period, but no reason was given for the suspension of service.

Its ferry service suffered several delays in the weeks prior, with one voyage cancelled by the company after an hour-long delay.

The fast ferry service to Sicily started running in summer 2021, offering commuters and hauliers a link between Valletta and Augusta.

Ponte Ferries is a joint venture between leading agro-processing company Magro Brothers, hoteliers Julian and Michael Zammit Tabona, and Ozo CEO Fabio Muscat. It provided the first ever competitive alternative to Virtu Ferries on the Malta-Sicily route.

Ponte Ferries had a bumpy start to its operations in 2021. The service was due to launch on 8 August that year, but the company had to postpone operations at the eleventh hour over a bid by Virtù, which connects Pozzallo to Valletta, to also obtain a departure slot from the port.

Augusta mayor Di Mare and councillor Tania Patania had complained that the port authority ADSP was preventing Augusta from having its own maritime connection to Maltese tourism.

Eventually, Ponte Ferries secured a temporary permit from Italian authorities. The service started running in November 2021, operating between Wine Wharf quay in Valletta and Augusta five times a week.