The German-Spanish shipping company FRS is to begin operations in the Balearics at the end of May. It will be operating the Alcudia-Ciutadella route and therefore be in direct competition with Baleària. Meanwhile, there are discussions with the regional government and the Balearic Ports Authority about other routes.
The director general for ports and airports, Xavier Ramis, says that FRS presented a plan a few days ago. This concerned competition with other companies in the Balearics. "This is positive, as it will increase connections within the islands and with the mainland. There will be a particular benefit for Minorca because of increased frequency of service with Mallorca. Anything that improves connections between the islands has economic and transport value and addresses the issue of insularity."
FRS started operations in Spain in 2000, concentrating on routes through the Strait of Gibraltar. The company recently signalled its intentions regarding the Balearics by recruiting an executive from Trasmediterránea. It will compete with Baleària, Grimaldi (Trasmediterránea) and GNV, which is part of the MSC shipping company.
Ramis adds that the fact that companies as important as FRS, Grimaldi and MSC have set their sights on the Balearics demonstrates not just the interest in the islands but also a commitment to the post-Covid future. He also believes that inter-island maritime traffic will receive a boost from the government's tourist voucher scheme, which promotes inter-island tourism.