The Company ensures that departure/arrival times of scheduled and other trips are maintained as far as it is physically and reasonably possible and that all trips depart and arrive on time. All late departures (even of a few minutes) are avoided and when they occur are treated as "an incident", reported by the persons concerned and investigated by Management.

Customers will appreciate that it is difficult to solve all problems connected with the disruption of the scheduled service as the Company operates on different scenarios which could be summarised as follows:

(i) A normal scheduled service between Mgarr and Cirkewwa.

(ii) As (i) above but with one or two extra trips for special charters (ie fuel) or special occurrences (backlog of passengers and/or vehicles at a particular time).

(iii) A shuttle service between Mgarr and Cirkewwa to cope with the influx of passengers and/or vehicles on special occasions (ie Easter, Santa Maria, long weekends, etc), or when a larger number of tourists cross to Gozo for the day. This is becoming a frequent occurrence to the advantage of Gozo tourism and of course Gozo Channel.

(iv) A service from Mgarr to Cirkewwa (South Quay) in inclement weather.

(v) A continuous service between Mgarr and Sa Maison when, because of inclement weather, the service to Cirkewwa is completely suspended.

When items (iii), (iv) and (v) occur, for various and different reasons, it is not always possible to maintain the advertised scheduled times.

In the examples of (iv) and (v) the reasons are obvious and more often than not passengers are understanding. However, when a shuttle service is in operation, the Company appreciates that the reasons for early/late departures from scheduled advertised times are not so obvious to customers and therefore understandably the complaints become more vociferous and more in number.

Passengers will appreciate that when a shuttle service is in operation, in particular at peak times, it is not always possible to maintain scheduled times at both harbours and this because:

(i) Passengers and/or vehicles at either end accumulate at the terminal and ferries leave as soon as capacity is reached.

(ii) The one berth at Cirkewwa and two berths at Mgarr slow down the service, as ferries have to wait outside harbour for the berth to be free (at Mgarr in particular when berth n° 3 is occupied by a third party vessel).

(iii) The timings of departures from either harbour are quite close to each other, in particular during peak periods and the continuous operation of three or four vessels will somewhat disrupt the scheduled advertised times.

(iv) Waiting for the exact time to depart at peak hours, may increase congestion at the harbour where the bulk of the passengers are boarding the ferries and this will have a cumulative effect on all the service.

Terminal personnel are instructed to inform passengers of any change in the advertised schedule.