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The ‘Volcán de Timanfaya’ made today, the 25th of September, the last of 12 trips between Madeira and the continent.

As in the past, supporters of the ‘Madeira Ferry – Mainland Continent’ have called on the mass media to host a ferry reception to defend a maritime link between the Region and the continent throughout the year.

However, the mobilisation did not take place, at least along the lines of the call sent by e-mail, which stated: “On the 25th at Pontinha, at 3 pm, we will all take a walk by the sea and take the opportunity to say goodbye to the Timanfaya ferry of the year. 2019 with whistles, horns, slogans, etc., but above all a lot of civility ”.

Speaking to Diário Notícias Paulo Farinha – one of the faces of this cause, who arrived this afternoon aboard the ‘Volcán de Timanfaya’ – defended the maintenance of the line, although demarcating himself from the protests.

“People want the ferry all year, it’s true,” he said, saying that during the boat trip he was contacted by several people, including migrants, “pleased with the ferry.” “This is needed all year round for residents, migrants and tourists,” he said.

For Paulo Farinha “the ferry has always been viable” and recalls that “the occupation this year surpassed the occupation of last year.

In fact, according to the latest data from the ferry operation between Madeira and the mainland, this year there were a total of 13,989 passengers, an increase of 32% over the previous year to 10,601 passengers.

But for the ‘Cause Ferry’ representative to list passengers is just a ‘fallacy’. “Is anyone controlling whether trains are full or empty and subsidized?” He asks. “The ferry is full and empty. Mobility should not be accounted for from an economic perspective. Mobility is necessary for populations, whether on the mainland or on the islands, ”he says. He adds: “If we have subsidised air mobility we should also have subsidised maritime mobility at the same level.”

When asked if the changes in the regional political landscape, resulting from the elections of September 22, will contribute to solve this ferry issue, Paulo Farinha says that “politicians will have to break a lot of stones for a new government”, which , in his view, “is beneficial” to the cause.

Although the demonstration itself did not take place, the CHEGA party responded to the call issued to the media and was present this afternoon at the ship’s reception in Pontinha.

“We are in central Macaronesia and this is not being taken advantage of. We have to look around us [the ferry operation] is very important for Madeira, for the economy and for development. Exemptions have to be given and subsidies have to be stopped, ”said the CHEGA party head of the list.

Miguel Teixeira says that “making this line unfeasible is easy” and that “who is managing this line knows how to show unviable numbers. You can say ‘the load does not pay’ … ” because at these prices does not pay ‘, he comments.

On the other hand, it considers it essential for the ship to carry cargo and passengers. “Right now it’s just making passengers and fooling people with some load,” he said.

It should also be noted that at the last disembarkation of the year in Funchal at least one hundred people got out of the boat on foot and many more disembarked by car, as pointed out by the figures already reported by the Diário. 

If we compare this year’s passenger numbers with those during the same period in 2011, the occupancy rate increased by about 40%.

Regarding the number of vehicles transported, from light cars to motorcycles, to vans and lorries among other types, it can also be concluded that the operation that connects Madeira to Portimão recorded a positive balance, with a growth of 26% compared to the previous year. last year.

Straight translation from Diário Notícias