Comino boat operators want contract annulled

Comino ferries

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

A number of boat operators who operate non-scheduled charters and pre-booked trips around Malta and Comino between Malta and Gozo have requested the Public Contracts Review Board to review the concession given Comino Ferries Co-Op Limited which was awarded an exclusive 15-year concession to operate the trips to Comino as part of a government tender. The boat operators have filed a case before the board against Transport Malta.

Lawyers Jonathan Mintoff and Larry Formosa who signed the application on behalf of the boat operators argued that the government was in breach of Maltese and European laws when awarding the 15-year concession to a cooperative which includes Captain Morgan.

The lawyers further said that the request for proposals which was opened up last summer should be declared ineffective since Transport Malta had not followed the consultation procedures.

Newsbook.com.mt has sent questions to the Office of the Prime Minister on the 15-year concession, however, until the time of writing no response was forthcoming.

This newsroom had revealed that this concession could result in the doubling of fare prices.

On Wednesday it was revealed that the company will pay €37,000 annually for berthing rights at the landing places in Cirkewwa and Marfa and in blue Lagoon and Santa Maria Bay, Comino.

The Gozo Tourism Association lambasted the concession saying that it created a monopoly over the trips and resulted in discrimination against the different operators.

A number of boat operators have filed a warrant of prohibitory injunction before the court which was provisionally upheld. The case will be heard on Friday.