İDO optimistic about future despite some negativities
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
İDO provides 40 percent of Istanbul’s maritime transportation and enjoys a big share in the transportation of vehicles from Istanbul to the other cities on the Marmara Sea and the Aegean Sea. Company photoWith the İzmit Bay Bridge planned by 2016, the Istanbul Fast Ferries Co. Inc. (İDO), expects a loss in revenues of around 40 percent at one of its biggest terminals between Eskihisar in Istanbul and Topçular in Yalova, İDO general manager Ahmet Paksoy told a group of journalists late July 17, adding that they are now strengthening their existing routes from Pendik and Yenikapı in Istanbul to Yalova, a southern city of the Marmara Sea, to minimize their potential loss.
The $1.1 billion İzmit Bay Bridge in Turkey is part of a new, extended highway system that links Istanbul and the Aegean city of İzmir. The bridge will be built over İzmit Bay, bordering Istanbul, totaling about three kilometers in length.
“We, however, believe that our ticket prices will be more economical than the planned bridge tolls, so more people will prefer us,” Paksoy said, adding that the occupancy rate of the company has continuosly been rising.
He also noted that the latest changes in dollar-lira parity have negatively affected the repayments of the privatization costs of İDO, which was privatized for $861 million in 2011.
“Gas costs constitute 40 percent of our total costs. For instance, our four fast ferries’ gas consumption is equal to the consumption levels of 35 ordinary ships. The gas costs of İDO have increased by 64 percent since the privatization due to the rise in oil prices and the change in gas types by the Turkish energy watchdog, EPDK [Energy Market Regulatory Authority],” he said.
As complaints mount against the ticket price policy of İDO, which was the policy of “increasing price,” the company changed to a “single price” policy in 2012. Many people had complained the ticket prices were too high for late buyers before the policy change.
“We receive 80 percent fewer complaints from İDO customers now. Ticket prices are no longer a subject of complaint,” Paksoy said.
İDO privatized in 2011
The Tepe-Akfen-Souter-Sera consortium won the auction for the privatization of İDO, a subsidiary of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, with an offer of $861 million.
Of the consortium that won the auction, Sera Gayrimenkul Yatırım has taken a 10 percent share. Tepe İnşaat, Akfen Holding and Souter Investments LLP – owned by Scottish businessman and the founder of international transportation group Stagecoach Brian Souter – each hold 30 percent shares in the complete İDO stake.
İDO, which runs high-speed ferries within Istanbul and nearby towns, provides 40 percent of Istanbul’s maritime transportation as well as enjoying a big share in the transportation of vehicles from Istanbul to the other cities on the Marmara Sea and the Aegean Sea.
The company plans to reach 10 million journeys by the end of this year, with over 55 million passengers. İDO carried 51 million passengers on 9.4 million journeys in 2012. The company has over 3,000 workers.