Transport Malta postpones Malta-Comino ferry service contract

Transport Malta has postponed the Malta-Comino scheduled ferry contract awarded to one operator until it deals with 'various concerns' raised by other operators and the Gozo Tourism Association

The contract was awarded after a competitive process
The contract was awarded after a competitive process

The contracted service between Malta and Comino has been postponed, Transport Malta announced.

In a statement on Friday, the authority said that it decided to postpone the service in light of the “various concerns” it had received.

This comes in light of recent reports that Transport Malta had selected one sole operator to provide a scheduled passenger service between Malta and Comino. The operator was also given priority boarding rights at the quays in Marfa and Ċirkewwa.

The decision was criticised by the Gozo Tourism Association, branding it discriminatory. It called on the authority to reconsider the decision in the interest of all boat service operators and Gozo businesses.

“The Authority has consulted with both the Operator contracted to carry out the service as well as with a number of concerned commercial vessel operators, and considers it prudent to temporarily postpone the commencement of the service to assess in more detail the operational aspects and berthing facilities,” Transport Malta said.

Previously boat operators had been informed by letter on 13 January that, following a request for proposals issued last year and the completion of a competitive process, a suitable operator for the provision of Malta-Comino ferry service had been identified. The authority has said it was entering into an agreement with the successful bidder for a period of 15 years starting on 25 January. The chosen operator was also bound to invest in new vessels. 

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