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About jonno

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  • Birthday 11/03/1968

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  1. I read that too which is why I dug this out.
  2. I can't agree with some of that. Roué is blaming the exchange rate since 2016 and is also blaming the referendum for losing 25 million a year for four years. I think we've proven that they haven't lost 100 million and they're spending more than five times that. I do agree with the website, rebranding, the political issues in France and that they're charging premium prices to travel on tonnage which is more or less styled for the last century and they have zero appetite to do anything about it.
  3. It's currently at £1.19 when Pont Aven loomed large is was £1.24. You can bemoan the pound, the euro and political landscape as much as is liked. The reality is that at a worse exchange rate than what we have currently either the EIG's or SPC's were more than happy to find €550m for four ships. You can't have it both ways. Are Stena moaning about the exchange rate, DFDS, I.F or P&O? No they're not, just like BF they're expanding and they all use both currencies aboard their U.K. ships.
  4. It not weight, it's carrying capacity, a bit like the litre measurement in the boot of your car
  5. It's not that, because she's compact there's not a lot of public space, you climb her central steep staircase and essentially two shops and the self service are right in your face. Compare that to the way the public area flows between the Pont's eateries and the open feel of atrium on deck 8. Modern ship capacities don't really increase commensurate to size. If designed in a similar fashion The Pont could carry another 1000 pax doubling her deadweight whilst lowering the amount of space to move around in. She'd have the same congested feel. Bretagne wasn't replaced on the Santander run due to her lack of facilities or accommodation, it was due to her limited public areas. King Seaways (the Val) is only 10 metres longer however her deadweight at the time was 3471 tons, she was very roomy. The Peter Pan ship is a good example of the effect. after her refit for DFDS which added cabins lowering her lane metres her pax capacity has increased by over 400, berths by 365 and her deadweight is now 4100 t. It's important to compare like for like which is why I've used passenger ferries rather than RoPax. In this context Honfleur needs to compared to Monty - visualise her internally then consider the extra space you'll enjoy onboard if she was 15 metres longer, 3 metres wider and you removed Baie du Seine's pax capacity of 600.
  6. Each vessels deadweight, the load it can carry is a good indicator. Pont Aven 4803 tons, Honfleur 6000 tons. Because the weather is naff and basically I've got them sitting on a shelf this is the list from lowest to highest... Armorique 4200 t. Normandie 4225 t. Pont Aven 4803 t. Barfleur 5250 t. Mont St Michel 5579 t. Baie du Seine 5620 t. Cap Finistere 6515 t. Etretat 7000 t. Bretagne 10597 t. These figures are from the French Ministry of Transport and Bureau Veritas
  7. https://www.statista.com/statistics/412806/euro-to-gbp-average-annual-exchange-rate/
  8. Don't really get the currency issue, 11 yeasr ago a euro was worth 89p and for the last three years 88p. We haven't seen the historical lows of it being worth less than 70p for 15 -20 years. @colin reported last year that St Nazaire had been approached with a 2022 target. https://bfenthusiasts.com/bfe/topic/12166-bretagne-30-years/page/3/
  9. Dunno why they don't just pump in seawater through filters and desalination plant and use steam turbines.
  10. I doubt any other carrier would want to even attempt to unravel the legal contractual agreements. What I have observed is that since 2016 the fleet renewal investment figure has slowly risen. When Honfleur was announced the number stood at €400m it's now €550m now add on the rail freight and it's more like €580m. We then need to factor in the return and major refit of Cotentin together with PA's new engine and ancillaries, this will probably increase it closer to €600m. Now look at the losses due to the port strikes, the ongoing SOMANOR charter costs for Etretat due to Honfleur's delay, BAI's need to charter another vessel in Kerry and their 25% of Condor... It's no surprise that currently the banks won't build or fund an SPC for either a Bretagne or Pont Aven replacement.
  11. Between 1996 & 1998 there was EU investigation as the French Government gave BAI financial support, i:e state aid. It took the EU 3 years to find in favour of the shipping company. If they were a private company the EU commission's investigation would not have allowed the financial aid as their law prohibits a member state from doing so. There is a letter from 1999 titled "May 1997 Agreement between the state and BAI" which is also accompanied by documents "1997-1999 restructuring plan" themselves dated October 1996 & March 1997. There is also another document titled "Aid in favour of the Bretagne Angleterre Irlande shipping company". The direct recipient of the restructuring aid was BAI. BAI and it's partners have also received other state subsidies. Why was the state aid allowed? The SPC's are sociétés d'économie whose majority shareholders are the local authorities whose objective is linked to the public interest and their jurisdiction... They run public services and there main objective is regional development and general economic interests and they hold the main influence in the boardroom. In 1982 BAI was bankrupt and were on the verge of discontinuing their routes. The local authorities set up three SPC's in order to purchase ships for BAI to maintain services - SABEMEN. SENACAL & SENAMANCHE, these were created in 1982, '85 & '91. BAI's partnership with these SPC's gives them access to the public purse but also contractually binds them to the conditions laid down by the local authorities, namely to provide maritime transport services of at least a certain frequency from specific ports, namely Roscoff & Cherbourg. They must also submit their results and provide forecasts to the local authority SPC's. The local authorities are also influential BAI board members. The SPC's have the power to guide BAI's strategic decisions since it is the local authority SPC's who decide on the acquisition and sale of the ships BAI operate for them. The operating conditions, general condition and capital increases needed to maintain the SPC ships must also be met by BAI. BAI or Brittany Ferries are responsible for the operating and marketing structure only. The local authority SPC's also own and control the debt... and is a major component of why the EU allowed the funding. Now we get onto the EIG's, the economic interest groups, these are made up of French financial institutions and they either offer borrowing to the SPC's or fund the ships themselves. lease them to the SPC's who in turn sub charter them to BAI. EIG's financed Bretagne, Barfleur and Normandie & 50% of Pont Aven. These are leased to the relevant SPC's who as said sub charter them to BAI. The local Breton authority SPC funded Armorique under a new title, MSM & Cotenin were funded by an SPC, the latter by a collaboration which began the life of SOMACOT. I can carry on and give you a full breakdown of the sub charters, amortisation etc.
  12. They've not been owned by farmers since 1986 plus both Roscoff -Plymouth & Cherbourg-Poole will remain open unless it's financial suicide due to the ministries of commerce who own the tonnage. It's part of the deal they made with BAI to save them from bankruptcy.
  13. To be honest Paully that's really just me thinking out loud the BF Group aren't really a private company in that sense, you could say that 75% of it is nationalised. It's the banks & the region which won't fund Bretagne II not the shipping company and if we keep packing into the 31 year old ferry to the tune of over 350,000 a year why would they? Bretagne earns them lots of money, if you like it's their longest domestic route with cabin and passage costs reflecting this not to mention the onboard spend. Again, thinking out loud, it may well be that within the hallowed corridors of St Malo & Roscoff the decision has been made to replace Bretagne with Pont Aven and lose one Spanish and the Cork sailing altogether and the ground is being prepared for the flack they'll receive. (oh wait, everything will be fine, there's the Vigo sailing!) Transmanche at Dieppe. DFDS operate the tonnage but it's owned by Seine - Maritime. When the subsidy ends DFDS will run a mile quicker than Steve Cram in Oslo... and I'll give you three guesses on who I have a feeling will take over there. I used to get the feeling that due to their other far more lucrative shipping operations Louis Dreyfus Armateurs didn't really take passenger ferries seriously.
  14. Not strictly true Neil, Cherbourg served from both Poole and Portsmouth is BF's 2nd busiest passenger route. Roscoff consistently carries in excess of 350,000 pax a year so would really be better serviced with a passenger ferry.
  15. I agree, their ongoing fleet renewal and route expansion despite all of the negativity spouting from BF towers has been discussed over and over so too has their historic decision not to re invest in their tonnage. Having ports closed for days on end due to strike action will be having a far worse effect on them than the exchange rate. BF have been dealing with it's fluctuation for decades which has been in the 0.80 - 0.90 range for 12 years now. I also question their desire to replace Normandie with Honfleur and it's propulsion system designed to appease public relations when a new MGO or true LNG burning Bretagne was the clear priority. Is this public outburst of financial woe a pre-curser to a take over or partnership?
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