Updated: 03/16/2022 20:20h
Antonio Armas Fernández, president of Naviera Armas Transmediterránea and son of the founder of the Canarian shipping company, Antonio Armas Curbelo, died yesterday at his home in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria at the age of 77.
At the head of the company since 1968, Antonio Armas Fernández consolidated Naviera Armas as the great reference in maritime passenger transport between the different Canary Islands and in the connection by sea of the archipelago with the peninsula and with North Africa.
The statement issued yesterday by the company highlighted as one of the great milestones of its management the introduction of the so-called 'roll-on' ships in inter-island traffic in the Canary Islands in 1973. The maneuver revolutionized the island's logistics chain by allowing the transfer of containers of goods or directly from large fully loaded road transport vehicles by sea, a practice that has subsequently become widespread in maritime transport.
More recent is the acquisition from Acciona of Transmediterránea, its main competitor in the national market. Naviera Armas substantiated in mid-2018 the purchase of 92.7% of the company for a total amount of 260.4 million euros, thus underpinning its status as the largest maritime transport group in Spain and becoming one of the most important on the European scene both in fleet, as in volume of passengers and tons of cargo.
Just three years later, the Canarian company had to divest five ships and most of the routes from the peninsula to the Balearic Islands that it operated after the purchase of Transmediterránea to cover part of the debt generated by this operation, after the pandemic hit unique way the activity of the shipping company. The sale of the package to the Italian Grimaldi strengthened one of its competitors, but also allowed the company's accounts to improve.
Antonio Armas Fernández had received the Canary Islands Gold Medal last October, in commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the founding of the company created by his father.