The Norwegian Ministry of Transport said that that the government wants to divide the tender for the coastal express route –now operated by Hurtigruten– into three parts. Why? “To increase competition.”
As from 2021 this could mean two or three operators instead of one, which would be bad news for Hurtigruten. However, it is not excluded that one operator gets all three routes. The difference is that the Government would have made a good deal with lower subsidies, and that nobody could accuse the State of illegal aid.
There will also be tougher environmental routes. HFO will not be allowed as fuel.
Hurtigruten’s contract expires on 31 December 2019, with an option for a one-year extension. The deadline for submitting offers is set to January 3, 2018.
In a reaction the Norwegian television NRK, Hurtigruten’s CEO Daniel Skjeldam says he does not fear the competition and promises to sail along the Norwegian coast, even if they lose the public tender.