Tallink Grupp today signed an agreement with the Estonian Social Insurance Agency to charter the company’s ship Isabelle to provide temporary housing for Ukrainian refugees arriving in Estonia, according to the company’s press release.
The vessel will be chartered to the Estonian authorities for an initial period of four months from Thursday 7 April 2022, with the option to extend the charter for a further two months and thereafter for a further two months as required.
The chartering of the vessel to the Estonian authorities to urgently resolve the temporary housing issue means that the company will not reopen the Riga-Stockholm route on June 3, 2022 as announced at the end of March. The company originally planned to reopen the route, which has been closed since March 2020, on April 6 this year, but announced a week ago that the reopening will be delayed by two months due to the challenging geopolitical situation that is putting pressure on passenger numbers and prices, which makes the reopening of the line in April-May economically unviable. However, the charter now means that the ship planned to operate on the route will instead be used to provide urgent support to the Estonian authorities and the reopening of the route will be postponed further into the future.
Tallink will offer the crew and staff currently working for the Company’s Latvian organization employment aboard other Tallink ships, including Isabelle, in the coming months.
The company will make announcements on the new plans for the reopening of the Riga-Stockholm route once such decisions are made.
AS Tallink Grupp is one of the leading providers of passenger and freight transport services in the northern Baltic Sea region. The company’s fleet consists of 15 vessels and the company operates various routes under the Tallink and Silja Line brands. Tallink Grupp’s shares are listed on the Nasdaq Tallinn Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Helsinki Stock Exchange.