Company brief

  • 2006-01-04
Other than the Fantaasia, which is to start sailing on the Riga-Stockholm route, the Tallink Group is reportedly considering transferring other ships to the Latvian register. "On economic considerations this option is being analyzed but no decision has been made yet," the firm's investor relations manager Peter Roose told the daily Eesti Paevaleht. Rein Merisalu, chairman of the Estonian Shipping Association, said the registration of ferries in Latvia would enable the firm to save 20 's 30 percent on crew expenses. According to the group's business report for 2004-05, Tallink's personnel expenses were 609.9 million kroons (39 million euros) of which 147.5 million kroons was social tax. The group employed 2,710 people, including 1,957 crew. Wage level of crews of vessels flying the Latvian flag is significantly lower than that of Finnish or Swedish seamen, so the switch to the Latvian flag would give Tallink an advantage over major competitors such as Silja Line and Viking Line. Enn Kreem, secretary general of the association, added that the transfer would not require Tallink to make changes in crews, since ships registered in Latvia would not need to have Latvian captains whereas Estonian-registered vessels must have Estonian masters.