NEL Lines Requests Second Chance to Service Cyclades Islands
A decision on whether or not the Maritime Company of Lesvos (NEL Lines) would be barred from running ferry services to the Cyclades islands has been postponed.
Following ongoing problems regarding NEL Lines, which included severe delays and cancellations of ferry routes due to action launched by seamen demanding unpaid wages, the Coastal Transportation Council (SAS) was to decide on Thursday whether or not to declare the ferry operator forfeit and bar it from running ferry services to the Cyclades islands.
However, during the council’s meeting at the Greek Shipping Ministry, the company’s representative Ilias Stavrianos requested a postponement to the decision citing recent developments that include the resignation of NEL LINE’s CEO Yiannis Avrantinis.
According to Mr. Stavrianos, a new group of investors will take over NEL Lines and settle all obligations to employees and government agencies in order for its ferry services to relaunch. NEL Lines, which counts 43 years in Greek shipping, has left some 500 workers unpaid for several months.
In light of the new data, the Greek Shipping Ministry granted a postponement, although SAS ultimately voted in favor of declaring NEL Lines forfeit.
NEL’s new investors are expected to have a meeting with Alternate Shipping Minister Theodoros Dritsas on Friday.
The council’s verdict will be taken under consideration by Minister Dritsas, who will make the final decision.
Routes covered by NEL are the following:
Syros-Kythnos-Kea-Lavrio, Syros-Paros-Naxos-Ios-Sikinos-Folegandros-Kimolos-Milos, Syros-Paros-Serifos-Kimolos-Milos and Syros-Tinos-Andros.
Syros-Tinos-Andros, Syros-Kythnos-Kea-Lavrio, Syros-Paros-Naxos-Donousa-Aigiali-Katapola-Koufonissi-Schoinousa-Iraklia-Naxos-Paros-Syros, Syros-Paros-NaxosFolegandros-Sikinos-Ios-Thirasia-Thira-Anafi.
Hellenic Seaways has expressed interest in expanding its operations to the southeastern Attica port of Lavrio towards the Cyclades islands if NEL Lines is declared forfeit.
I see that Hellenic Sea ways is operating on western Cyclades: is the route from Milos to Folegandros and Sikinos included?
At the moment things are uncertain concerning the specific shipping company and until a formal announcement is made we cannot guarantee that the specific routes will be operated by anothe shipping company.
Should the forfait be declared, is any other company covering the route from Milos to Folegandros and Sikinos?
We are still waiting for developments on the matter. We will keep you posted!