Baleària increases passenger traffic and economic impact in 2021

Ferry operator detailed its results from the past year in its Sustainability 2021 Report

Baleària increases passenger traffic and economic impact in 2021


Adolfo Utor, chairman of Baleària, presenting the Sustainability 2021 report on 25 March 2022

By Alice Chambers |

Spanish ferry operator Baleària has published its Sustainability 2021 report, revealing earnings of €103 million ($113 million), a nine per cent increase in social cash flow, which is the creation of wealth by the company considering its outflows such as for employees and suppliers, and a 38 per cent increase in passenger traffic in comparison to 2020.

Baleària celebrated its findings with an event hosted at Es Baluard Museu d'Art Contemporani de Palma, Spain, on 25 March 2022. The report was presented with special guests present including Francina Amerngol, president of the government of the Balearic Islands; Maria Reyes Maroto Illera, minister of industry, commerce and tourism for Spain; and José Hila, mayor of Palma, Spain.  

The company transported 2.91 million passengers and 765,000 vehicles in 2021, 38 and 29 per cent more than in 2020 respectively. These findings are also 34 and 28 per cent below pre-pandemic traffic levels respectively, however.

Baleària also found that 95 per cent of passengers travelled on domestic routes between the Balearic Islands; Ceuta, Africa; Melilla, Spain; and the Canary Islands, while international routes to North Africa and the Bahamas were used less frequently due to travel restrictions.

“Despite this sector having been hit by the pandemic and mobility restrictions, we have handled this crisis by being an increasingly eco-efficient shipping company, committed to the region and with a vocation for public service,” said Adolfo Utor, chairman of Baleària.

The company has operated nine ships with dual engines since the beginning of 2022, which are compatible with the use of carbon-neutral fuel.

“Our goal is zero emissions in 2050,” said Utor. “We are involved in projects linked to green hydrogen and renewable biomethane, and we are committed to gas as a transition fuel. The company is determined to invest in projects linked to cleaner energies.”

Baleària commissioned a dual-gas-engine fast ferry, Eleanor Roosevelt, in May 2021 and is digitising its fleet, with seven of its ships already operating sensor systems that collect navigation and usage data in real time. Other features of fleet digitisation include a newcustomer experience featuring virtual assistants and onboard entertainment.

“We continue to progress towards our goal of turning Baleària into a company that uses big data to guide decisions in real time with maximum efficiency,” said Utor, who pointed out that the company already monitors its fleet through one control tower.

In addition, Baleària’s social cash flow grew by nine per cent in 2021, reaching €576 million ($632 million). The Baleària Foundation collaborated with local charities, businesses and other foundations to fund more than 280 activities.

The operator dedicates its achievements to its efficient team management, high levels of productivity and the performance of fuel prices in the first three quarters of 2020.

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