What is the state of affairs at VCK as we speak?
“It is looking very good at the moment. Last October and November were good months under the circumstances, December is usually not so strong. Then came January and that was not good, a bit of a shock even, we dropped back to 15 percent of our turnover February 2019, on the other hand, was extremely good and that recovery is now moving into March, we are now moving above 50 percent of what we had, still low compared to three years ago, but already a lot of progress and in line with our schedule and budget. ”
Do you expect further recovery in the coming months?
“I don’t know for sure. The world has completely changed. If the Russian invasion of Ukraine had not happened at the end of February, I could have given a clearer answer. Now it is Ukraine today, tomorrow Tajikistan or another country. If you didn’t have all those bumps it would be easy to predict, but that’s not the case.”
Traveling to Ukraine and Russia is currently virtually impossible; do you notice that too?
“Yes, it is a big bang† Simple example. We are big in marine travel (sailors’ voyages, ed.). Many ships have crew members from both Russia and Ukraine. What happens when such a ship approaches a European port? It is refused and there you lie with your load. Crew replacement is not possible as you cannot enter any other port, so they will remain anywhere outside the 12-mile zone. This is a mega problem for us. You can’t arrange flights, no trains. A few more entrances are possible: the train from Helsinki and some flights from Istanbul to Moscow vice versa still exist. We have to act like a spear otherwise nothing is possible anymore. Fortunately, we have good people who have built up years of experience and contacts that enable us to do this. And this is not going to end for the time being: those sanctions against Russia are not for a week and Putin is not yet out of Ukraine.”
Read the entire article in the March edition of Luchtvaartnieuws Magazine, which includes an extensive TMC special. Order a single copy here, or take out an affordable subscription and never miss a song again.