The Tasmanian Government recognises the importance of our iconic Spirit of Tasmania vessels and the past 12 months have been probably the most exciting in TT-Line’s 37-year history.
This is on the back of what have been some very challenging years due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But with the opening of borders and the pent-up demand for domestic travel we are seeing the market recover and return to previous levels.
The number of sailings has been increasing from 806 in 2020-21 to 823 in 2021-22.
As Spirit of Tasmania enters the busy summer season the Company is operating a number of additional day sailings. Through to the end of April, Spirit of Tasmania has 168 day sailings scheduled in addition to its regular night sailings. These day sailings meet the demand from passengers travelling between the states leading up to Christmas, the school holidays and busy Easter period.
This means that passenger numbers are starting to recover with 284,323 passengers carried last year, up from the COVID low of 234,725, and freight volumes still achieved near record levels.
The company and its employees have done an excellent job ensuring the ships could continue to operate continuously in a COVID-19 safe manner.
This year we saw the build start on the two new ferries with the very first steel cutting in February, followed by the keel laying in October.
We celebrated the completion and move to the new Victorian port at Geelong with the opening of the new Spirit of Tasmania quay also in October.
And work is getting underway at East Devonport for the new Quaylink East.
For the first time ever the company will have two purpose-built ships with two purpose-built ports.
These impressive developments cannot be overstated and will set the company up for success for the next 30 years.