The two shipping lines will run three weekly services for passengers and goods between the port of Cadiz or Huelva and the Canary Islands
The Managing Director of Fred. Olsen Express, Andrés Marín, and the President of Baleària, Adolfo Utor, signed an agreement to begin jointly operating routes between the Spanish mainland and the Canaries, through their new Canary Bridge Seaways (CBS) project, from mid-November onwards.
CBS will initially offer three sailings per week between the mainland and the Canary Islands, with two ships guaranteeing a comprehensive, reliable, quality service both for passengers and vehicles, and also freight transport.
Baleària's President, Adolfo Utor, declared that the alliance represents "an opportunity for both companies", which operate in different geographical areas, but have in common their "professionalism, innovation and excellence in dealing with and caring for their stakeholders, in particular customers". "We look forward to this new challenge alongside a great company, Fred. Olsen, and do so with enthusiasm, and the conviction that the best is yet to come in our shared future," Mr Utor emphasised.
The Managing Director of Fred. Olsen Express, Andrés Marín, declared for his part that: "This project brings together two companies that share the same philosophy focused on the pursuit of excellence, with the sole aim of offering their customers a quality service, while also aiming to deliver a comprehensive service nationwide. All of which will mark a turning point in maritime transportation in Spain, and not only on this route which is about to become a reality". He added that "we could not have found a better partner for this new venture than such a major shipping line as Baleària", publicly thanking the company and its President, Adolfo Utor, for "their complete dedication and willingness in this project".
Fred. Olsen Express and Baleària are working to integrate their commercial and management systems so as to facilitate bookings via all the regular channels operated by the two companies. They are likewise making the most of every possible synergy both in the commercial and operational areas and in management, to bring about a higher-quality service for their customers.
The project focuses initially on Spanish Mainland-Canaries traffic, involving two companies that operate in very different geographical regions but which have come together to launch this new route. The alliance will give both shipping lines greater competitiveness in their respective markets, by offering outstanding, comprehensive services with greater quality and reliability for their passengers and their distribution clients.
Baleària has a presence in five countries and is the leading shipping line in passenger and freight transportation on routes to the Balearic Islands and between Ceuta and Melilla and the Spanish mainland, along with a presence in Morocco, Algeria and the Caribbean (the United States and the Bahamas). The company's investment plans focus both on opening up new traffic and also innovation and digitisation, in the form of projects connected with the use of liquefied natural gas, energy efficiency and the construction of smart terminals and ships, along with other projects. Baleària defines itself as a responsible corporate citizen, and has signed up to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as the route map guiding its operations in the spheres of economic, social and environmental sustainability. In 2017, Baleària carried more than 3,700,000 passengers and 5,600,000 metres of vehicles. The company has over 1,500 employees, and a turnover of 362 million euros.
About Fred. Olsen Express
Fred. Olsen Express was founded in Norway and has had a presence in the Canary islands for over 115 years, with a 45-year track record in maritime transportation of passengers and freight between the islands, as the undisputed leader in high-speed sea travel. The company currently operates a fleet of six fast ships, including such cutting-edge vessels as the Trimaran Benchijigua Express and the Catamaran Betancuria Express, the largest in their category in the world. Aware of the importance of transport by sea in the Canaries Archipelago, the company remains committed to high-speed travel with the addition of two new trimarans in early 2020, which will operate alongside those already in use. These investment plans will help improve the service offered to customers and users, amounting to a total of 3,000,000 passengers and 1,500,000 metres of freight transport carried between the islands in 2017. In mid-October the company will launch a route linking Gran Canaria and Lanzarote, using high-speed ships for the first time ever and with two daily round trips, which could be increased to three.