Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2022

the passenger and freight segments. “Our competitive advantage allows us to confidently anticipate that we will remain in this position for many years to come,” says Utor. “While our new competitors make great play of their financial muscle, we continue to be dedicated to responding to the needs of our customers, improving every day and working hard to be more efficient. Only time will tell whether or not there is room for so many players in the market but what is beyond doubt is that our competitiveness and our status as a local operator keep us solidly in the lead, in both our own interests and those of the Balearic Islands’ territory and economy.” Besides the mainland-Balearics routes, the inter-Balearic ferry market has also been marred by aggressive competition, with cash-rich Trasmapi set to increase its footprint following the acquisition of three high-speed ro-pax catamarans. Luckily for Baleària, FRS Iberia has meanwhile turned its back on the Balearics. Utor points out that Baleària’s strategy is entirely oriented towards satisfying passenger and cargo customers, as well as developing new vessels with improvements in efficiency, innovation, sustainability and digitisation. “We are the only shipping company that provides daily inter-island services throughout the year to all the Balearic Islands,” says Utor. “We have been doing it for years; others have tried and failed. We will continue to add new, efficient, environmentally friendly, digitised and comfortable vessels for passengers and shippers. The latest examples of this are the recently introduced Eleanor Roosevelt, the world’s first fast ferry with dual-fuel engines, and our newly ordered electric double-ended ferry which will be powered by hydrogen technology.” Scheduled to enter the busy IbizaFormentera route in time for the summer 2023 season, the double-ended ferry will accommodate 350 passengers and will be built by Astilleros Armón. According to Utor the 83-metre-long shuttle ferry will be the epitome of sustainable mobility, becoming the first electric ferry in the Mediterranean to operate with zero emissions when entering, leaving and staying in port. The battery-hybrid ferry will serve specifically as a test laboratory for the use of green hydrogen, illustrating Baleària’s commitment to take the lead when it comes to decarbonisation. It will boast a compressed hydrogen fuel cell – the largest one currently in existence – which will provide five per cent of the ship’s propulsion power. “Using this newbuild as a small-scale test bed means that we can learn and apply our experience in the medium EXECUT I VE INTERV IEW 9 0