THE ferry service from Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal to Langkawi will be temporarily halted from today till March 31, said Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) chief executive officer Sasedharan Vasudevan.
Passenger ridership, he said, had dwindled from around 150 to only about 20 people per ferry since the movement control order (MCO) started on Wednesday.
“Operation of the two ferries will be temporarily stopped.
“The ferries run by private companies were taking about 220,000 people a year, but with the MCO, it is not profitable to operate during this period.
“People mainly visit Langkawi either for leisure or work, and presently, both are not possible since all are staying home or working from home, ” said Sasedharan.
The scene at the port in George Town was quiet, where people usually gather near the ground transport area to board the ferries and cruise liners.
The gates leading to the main Penang Port Commission office were also locked, barring outsiders from entering the premises.
Meanwhile, the Penang International Airport was a picture of calm, with both the arrival and departure lounges being quite deserted.
Only a handful of passengers, all in masks, were waiting for domestic flights, while the electronic flight information board showed the ‘Cancelled’ sign for most of the flights.
Major fast food outlets at the departure lounge were empty with only several people at the counters for takeaways.