After several years in the doldrums, Hellas Flying Dolphins seems to have pricked the interest of Greece’s major coastal shipping companies. Last month, under its new managing director, Gerasimos Stintzis, HFD announced an agreement whereby it would purchase two new vessels. And press reports abound that the chairman of Attica Enterprises, Pericles Panagopoulos, wants to purchase at least 10% of the Dolphins in an effort to play a pivoting role in major decisions about to be taken by the ferry company.
At the moment, Hellas Flying Dolphins has 50% of its shares held by independents, 31.5% held by Minoan Lines with another 11.5% held by Minoan supporters, and 7% held by investment companies.
The above senario follows the recent appointment of Mr. Strintzis as MDF’s managing director – Mr. Stintzis had headed Blue Star Ferries, which is controlled by Attica Enterprises and but prior to that was owned by the Strinitzis family.
Last month, Mr. Strintzis reached an agreement with the Scaramaga Hellenic Shipyards for the purchase of two Blue Star-type “ferries” that were to be constructed there some four years ago from an order placed by Blue Star Ferries, then called Strintzis Lines.
From press reports, it appears that the $15-million purchase includes the skeleton of one ship and the basic materials for the construction of the second one. Each vessel, upon completion, would carry up to 1,800 passengers and 420 vehicles. Presently, Hellas Flying Dolphins has its fifth Highspeed Catamaran under construction at Austal Shipyards in Australia. The ship is scheduled for delivery in May of next year. It will carry up to 810 passengers and as many as 154 vehicles. The Highspeed can sail in high winds, as high as nine on the Beaufort scale (0 is calm and 12 is hurricane force), and travel at 37 miles an hour, which makes it the fastest of its type in the Mediterranean.