Havila Voyages given permission to operate sanctioned ship

Havila Voyages has been granted special dispensation by the Norwegian government to operate its vessel Havila Capella for six months as it tries to refinance its fleet.

The Norwegian coastal line has spent several weeks trying to cut financial ties with sanctioned Russian firm GTLK which was financing its vessels.

Bent Martini, Havila Voyages’ chief executive, said he aimed to find a financing solution before the dispensation period expires.

He said: “We’re very happy the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has given us a dispensation from the sanctions regulations.

“This means that the ship is now not sanctioned, since we do not operate in violation of any current regulations.”

He added: “Havila Voyages is a Norwegian company, and our ships sail under the Norwegian flag. This decision by the authorities gives us security for the future.”

Martini said authorities involved in the “complex case” had “worked around the clock” to resolve issues caused by the sanctioning of Havila’s ships.

Havila Capella, which launched last year, operates between Bergen and Kirkenes, calling in to 34 ports of call in Norway.

Martini added the contract the line had signed with the government to operate the route, meant “the population in these areas has access to critical infrastructure, which in addition to normal operation can be used in critical and unforeseen situations”.

“This provides security for the coastal population,” he said.

The line’s second ship Havila Castor, which carries up to 640 passengers, is due to launch next month.

It was delivered to the line last week under alternative financing agreements and will enter service on May 10.

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