Steamship Company Announce 2012 Fares

Jeff Marston present the new fare structure

The Steamship Company has announced its fares for the 2012 season.

Chairman Andrew May told accommodation providers at St Mary’s Hall Hotel on Friday that we lived in challenging times.

Chief Executive Jeff Marston explained that the company had listened to feedback from the tourism sector and would now operate pricing similar to larger airlines with prices varying according to demand and day.

This was successfully trialled on Bristol and Exeter routes last year.

It means that the lowest Lands End single fare will go down to £60 but at peak times you could pay £80 for the same seat and Jeff says travellers should be able to get the cheaper tickets if they are flexible about the times they travel.

He said there would always be cheap seats available on every flight, which will vary from a couple of seats on a Twin Otter on busy days, to whole Islanders at off-peak times.

From Radio Scilly

Listen to our interview with Jeff Marston

Fares on the boat are unchanged but Jeff says it may not be possible to hold prices again in 2013.

He says fuel costs haven’t risen by much in the past year but that’s not always going to be the case.

Jeff says the same deals will be offered for people who call in as well as people booking online.

You’ll be charged for amendments to booking although agents have some discretion based on circumstance and fees for excess baggage will be enforced. Jeff says they’re not levying the charges to be difficult, it’s simply fairness to all passengers and every other airline does this.

When asked why the company can’t sell cheap tickets and fill up planes like Easyjet or Ryanair, Jeff told us the economies of operating small aircraft are completely different to those of large ones. He says the cost of flying between two airports is actually quite modest, it’s the other charges like landing fees, which start to push up costs, and those are unavoidable.

The board will decide on freight charges in December. Jeff says he’s aware of the difficulty in the economy and freight charges won’t be raised unnecessarily.