The Isles of Scilly Steamship Company has announced three immediate initiatives following a major survey of island residents.

The company, which operates lifeline sea and air passenger and freight services to the Isles of Scilly, sent almost 1,500 questionnaires to adults living on the islands as part of the company’s biggest-ever customer research survey.

As a direct result of the feedback, the Steamship Group will be doubling the winter flight discount for all island-based Travel Club members; will accelerate the roll-out of online Travel Club bookings, and will be setting up a consultative panel with residents.

Chief executive, Rob Goldsmith, said: “This is the most comprehensive survey of island residents we have ever undertaken and we were delighted to receive 451 completed questionnaires, a very high response rate of around 30%.

“We are still studying all the feedback and will use this to plan for future improvements to our services, but there are things we can do immediately.

“Two thirds of respondents said they would like to see more discounts on winter journeys so we are doubling the Skybus discount for Travel Club members to 30% until the end of the season. We intend to re-introduce this enhanced level of air discount for next winter when the Scillonian III ferry completes her sailing schedule in early November.

“Three quarters of Travel Club members also said they would like to be able to book their travel online, so we are accelerating the roll-out of this facility on our website and hope to have it available before the summer.”

Goldsmith added: “We have been hugely encouraged by the positive feedback and while there are areas for improvement that we will be addressing, we are pleased with the general level of satisfaction with our services. Certain activities, such as our freight service, are already in the process of review. Significant changes to longstanding practices are either planned or underway but inevitably it will be some time before the full benefits are seen by all.”