The chief executive of CalMac believes issues following the launch of the company’s new booking platform are nearly resolved.

The ferry operator launched its 'Ar Turas' system last week, and passengers were quickly hit by issues including unbookable tickets and payment problems.

Robbie Drummond says the difficulties were expected, but believes disruption from the system changing is easing.

He said: “As you would expect with a system change of this scale, we experienced several issues on day one.

“In many cases these were peripheral to the core system, but nevertheless disruptive for customers and increased pressure on our staff.

“We will solve all these issues. The core system is working, we are processing bookings, and all services are running.

“There were payment issues on nine of our routes initially, which were resolved on the first day, and another issue has subsequently arisen, which may be affecting payments on several routes.”

The chief executive thanked passengers and staff for their patience in dealing with the new system, and said he hoped the benefits of the new platform would now become clear.

He added: “We appreciate the patience being shown by our customers and we have asked them to allow us some time to enable them to connect with their accounts online where this is a problem.

“Please be assured that CalMac’s senior management team is meeting twice daily to oversee this work and our teams continue to work around the clock, along with our suppliers.

“Our port teams have been working extremely hard over the last week, and resolving these issues is gradually relieving the pressure at the ports.

“We are confident that these issues will be resolved, and over time the advantages of the new system will then become more obvious both to our customers and our staff.”