Ferry operator could close Portsmouth to Le Havre service

A DFDS check-in canopy at Portsmouth International Port
A DFDS check-in canopy at Portsmouth International Port

Small traders celebrated

0
Have your say

A ferry firm has announced a consultation over its Portsmouth to Le Havre service, which could end in the closure of the line.

DFDS Seaways announced today it is entering a period of consultation on the viability of its Portsmouth to Le Havre service.

The announcement follows a meeting with its union representatives in the Extraordinary Works Council in France.

DFDS Seaways France took over the Portsmouth to Le Havre service in 2012 as part of its joint-venture with LD Lines.

Both LD Lines and DFDS Seaways France have consistently recorded heavy financial losses on this service since 2005.

DFDS says it has worked hard to cut costs on the route to make it more competitive, including replacing the Norman Voyager ship with a smaller vessel.

The firm also says it embarked on a series of sales and marketing initiatives designed to grow its potential customer base.

But DFDS says the service has remained economically unsustainable.

Passenger and freight customers currently booked onto the service will not be affected by this process, and all bookings that have been made will be honoured.

Should the Portsmouth to Le Havre service close, the Seven Sisters ship and its crew, which currently operate the route on charter from the Seine Maritime Conseil General 76 as an annexe service, would return to the ship’s owner.