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Gareth

BFE Staff
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Everything posted by Gareth

  1. Nick, is there enough potential demand to warrant running ferries the size of a BF cruise ferry to the islands?
  2. I.e. the inference being, if Liberation can't manage 2 rotations to the CI then NEX won't either? Ok, fair enough. If that's the case then that destroys one half of the logic of doing the switch.
  3. My understanding (but I stand to be corrected if Nick wishes to) is that the problems with Liberation are largely historical and that the continuing grumbles are more to do with reputation than actuality. When she was first introduced, she found it impossible to reliably stick to the 2-rotation schedule that was intended. This was for three (related) reasons. One, the tight port confines meant that she has to manoeuvre carefully in harbour and cannot just "nip in and out" like the smaller cats can. Two, her large payload means that she cannot turn around as fast as the schedules required her to. Three, her vulnerability to bad weather meant that there were conditions in which she could not enter the Channel Island ports. The solution to all this has been to reduce her schedule to 1 rotation per day. This new schedule meant that one, the sailing schedule is now so relaxed that she can take all the time she likes getting in and out of port. Two, she has all the time in the world to turn around before the next sailing. And three, if conditions are not right to enter port then she can just wait until they become right and it doesn't mess up the next sailing because it won't be for ages. So with the reduction in schedule from 2 to 1 rotation, all her problems have, to the consumer, disappeared. The problem is, it destroyed the economics of buying her in the first place, because the business case for buying her hinged on 2 rotations per day. It follows on from all this that, if the main PR problem with her now is reputational rather than actual, then it makes sense to move her to a deployment where her reputation can be left behind. Portsmouth-Cherbourg, under the BF umbrella rather than the Condor umbrella, would be a new lease of life where she could leave her old reputation behind. Two rotations per day should be possible because one, the ports are nowhere near as confined so she should be able to negotiate them with ease. Two, shorter route would enable sufficient turnaround time even with 2 rotations. And three, it is almost inconceivable that conditions could arise with any regularity that would prevent her from being able to access the ports. The economics of her purchase restored, reliability preserved, and bad reputation abandoned.
  4. Doesn’t look like there’s enough space for snoring! 🤣
  5. I do agree with all the sentiments that Liberation does not really belong on the English Channel. My advocacy for her to switch to Portsmouth-Cherbourg is purely a relative one on the assumption that a role has to be found for her somewhere. My feeling is, for all the reasons I've given in the past, that if she is capable of providing a reliable and economically viable service anywhere then it must be Portsmouth-Cherbourg. Shorter route and more spacious ports than her current route. A route on which she should comfortably be capable of two rotations per day. If she can't do that one reliably then there really is no hope for her in terms of future plans. And if she can do it reliably then a clever way of making best use of a problematic vessel.
  6. Channel Islands isn’t DFDS’s sort of operation at all. And I can’t see how this move remotely blocks DFDS from returning to Portsmouth if they wanted to. Reason DFDS pulled out from Portsmouth in the first place was because their product could not compete with BF. So the most effective way for BF to deter any operator from invading its market space is to keep the standards up and keep doing what it does so well.
  7. “Contributed alternative postulates to the discussion” would probably be a fairer way of putting it! 😀
  8. Not sure why, SC, as the spheres of operation are completely different. But I guess the take-home message is that BF are in as deeply as they feel they can get away with at the moment without creating such complications (and that, by extension, their wish is for deeper involvement when circumstances enable). The mystery remains, however, that if BF feels that this is the limit to which they can be involved at present, then what is their reason for wanting to become involved on that limited uninfluential basis? Long term pitch for the future down the line? Lot of damage that could be done to the BF brand by association with an unreformed Condor in the mean time.
  9. Well, I could understand it if the plan was for fleet integration and expanded opportunities for fleet deployment. But with the arrangement, I agree, don’t understand the motive at all.
  10. There’s clearly quite a PR job to do if the offering is going stay “business as usual”. Will be difficult for BF to get their teeth into that PR task with the back-seat role that the new arrangement seems to involve.
  11. Sea trials? What work did they do that requires those?!
  12. Beauport and Havelet were quite a comedown from Rozel. Although Rozel had Portelet as a running mate, which was hardly an ideal match!
  13. Really? What’s your thinking there Nick? To run both fast and cruise ferry services from Poole? Or to run a fast ferry from Weymouth? I’m surprised you think that - my view is that the notion of fast cat services between UK and CI was aways totally out of place and the only reason they came was because Condor came from France and fast cats was what Condor always was. Now they’re here some people have developed a taste for them despite the obvious problems with operating them in that sphere. But was it your view back in the early 90s that BCIF were missing a trick by not bringing in an incat?
  14. Thanks Nick. Was Rozel a step too far for the economics of the route? Or was concentrating everything on Poole a strategic error?
  15. My memory is hazy - I remember that BCIF closing down was Condor’s route into the UK-CI services in the first place, but what was the reason for BCIF closing down? Was BF still involved at that point or did BF withdraw sometime before the end for BCIF?
  16. Will be interesting to see them side by side. Any visible ways of distinguishing them?
  17. If they really are struggling to sell them then that must surely raise a big question mark over whether they'll run these again in future.
  18. Surprised at this article, precisely because "business as usual" actually does appear to be the message of the BF-Condor tie-up. Which is a surprising pity.
  19. Two sailings a week from Cork to Spain is just catering for a market that has long existed but BF has been slow to wake up to. One extra sailing a week from Cork to France is just part-filling a gap left by Irish Ferries reduction in sailings. No decrease in UK to France and UK to Spain sailings. An extra ship being brought in to cater for the extra Cork sailings. I’m not quite sure what the point about “percentages” is supposed to convey.
  20. At least this doesn't complicate the organisation of the forum! Condor remains a separate entity from BF and discussion of matters Condor can remain in the Channel Islands section.
  21. Presumably Portsmouth Harbour would struggle to accommodate both Prince of Wales and Queen Elizabeth at the same time? They'd make quite a sight together, but am I right in understanding that there is only one berth in the harbour that can take them?
  22. Including the premium ones? If that's the case then it sounds like sales are struggling.
  23. Sounds from the press release as if BF's involvement is not going to result in any change in strategy and direction of development in the medium term. Sounds also as if the current Condor management will stay in place. In other words, BF's interest in this (for the foreseeable future) is purely as a financial investment, and not operational involvement. Pity.
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