It was a busy three month stretch for BC Ferries.

The company’s vessels carried 5.8 million passengers and 2.4 million vehicles, the highest ever seen in the first quarter of a fiscal year.

The numbers represent increases of 2.2 per cent and 2.5 per cent compared with the same period in 2018.

BC Ferries reports that it provided 700 additional round-trip sailings in the first quarter compared with last year, including the introduction of the Northern Sea Wolf (Port Hardy to Bella Coola) and the upgraded Spirit of Vancouver Island (Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen) into service.

The company says that meant a 7.3 per cent increase in revenue, as well as a 5.0 per cent increase in expenses while net earnings were up $6.2 million to $12.2 million compared with the same period in 2018.

There are no fare increase planned for the rest of the fiscal year (through March 31st, 2020) on Vancouver Island-Metro Vancouver routes or the minor and northern routes that saw fares reduced by 15 per cent in April 2018.