Transport and logistics operator, David MacBrayne Ltd, which operates CalMac Ferries, has seen an increasing number of passengers visiting the Scottish western isles.
A service reliability of 99.4 per cent and punctuality of 99.6 per cent were highlights in an excellent year for business, the company claims.
For the first time, CalMac carried more than 5.6 million passengers and more than 1.4 million vehicles as part of yet another year on year increase.
‘I am delighted to report on a very successful last financial year, in what has been a very challenging working environment,’ said DML chief executive, Duncan Mackison.
‘Increased passenger volumes, combined with a higher number of sailings that we have been tasked with carrying out, are placing more and more pressure on our services.
‘It is testament to the innovative approaches, skill and dedication of our staff that we can deliver an increase in profit on what is a highly specified and detailed contract to deliver ferry services across the west coast.
‘Against a challenging background, our performance, both financially and in our service offering to the travelling public is outstanding,’ said Duncan.
‘We operated 162,335 of 164,089 scheduled sailings, with service reliability of 99.4 per cent and punctuality also running at 99.6 per cent last year, figures any transport operator would be rightly proud of.’
Last year CalMac was crowned ferry operator of the year at the UK Transport Awards.
‘Over the year we have seen improvements that focus on customer service, increased training opportunities for young people and a greater focus on environmental awareness, all helping sustainable economic development across our islands and remote mainland communities, said Duncan.
As part of new environmental commitments, DML is on course to cut our carbon emissions by 5 per cent over the year to come. This reduction equates to carbon output produced by 1668 cars every year. The significant reduction in carbon produced is mainly down to the use of fuel monitoring systems, increasing operational efficiency and diligent work by all involved in the business.
The company remains fully committed to creating opportunities for young people. Over the past two years the number of Modern Apprentices employed has doubled to 23. More than 90 per cent of the Modern Apprentices live on the islands supported by CalMac and in the last year every single apprentice secured full time employment, demonstrating our commitment to local employment.
The launch of a new Community Fund was also a highlight last year. The Fund, which offers support to groups working with young people in the company’s area of operation, has significantly increased support to charities and events going on across the west coast.
Across the wider DML group the company continues to realise its growth ambitions. After taking over the management of Perth Harbour from the local authority in July 2018, marine traffic into Perth has increased by an impressive 31 per cent.
‘We have ambitions to grow even more over the next few years and continue to add value for our communities, the Scottish Government and Scottish taxpayers,” added Duncan. “The ferry industry across Scotland faces a number of challenges in the future and we stand ready to offer our expertise, innovation and world class experience to benefit the whole industry."