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TonyMWeaver

Brittany Ferries Wants To Buy Condor Ferries

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ITV Channel Television said in their late might news just now that negotiations for the Condor sale should be completed by the end of the year. In their intro to the story, prior to the clip of Paul Luxon speaking, they suggested the negotiations were with Brittany Ferries and didn't mention any other party! 

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1 hour ago, Nick Hyde said:

ITV Channel Television said in their late might news just now that negotiations for the Condor sale should be completed by the end of the year. In their intro to the story, prior to the clip of Paul Luxon speaking, they suggested the negotiations were with Brittany Ferries and didn't mention any other party! 

Sounds about right, Jean-Marc Roué said originally that nothing would be known until early 2020.

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7 hours ago, Nick Hyde said:

ITV Channel Television said in their late might news just now that negotiations for the Condor sale should be completed by the end of the year. In their intro to the story, prior to the clip of Paul Luxon speaking, they suggested the negotiations were with Brittany Ferries and didn't mention any other party! 

Here is the interview for anyone interested. 

https://www.itv.com/news/channel/2019-09-03/sale-of-condor-still-being-negotiated-says-company-chief-executive/

It's part of a series by ITV into travel issues across the islands. Along with reliability it would seem that islanders are particularly concerned about the cost of trips to the UK. I fail to see what a purchase by BF would do to address that point. DFDS would be a better choice. If they want cheaper crossings then the population should make their wishes known before any sale takes place. If BF are the only party interested what does that say about the viability of the business and the logic of getting involved? 

Ed. 

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Islanders also want reliability and investment in a new fleet, which of the two would be most likely to do this? DFDS or Brittany Ferries? Brittany Ferries,  through their shareholding in BCIF, have also operated here before so know the islands and what's important.

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BF would be a great catch for the Islands.  What is less clear is what’s in this for BF, but there must be something.

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23 minutes ago, Nick Hyde said:

Islanders also want reliability and investment in a new fleet, which of the two would be most likely to do this? DFDS or Brittany Ferries? Brittany Ferries,  through their shareholding in BCIF, have also operated here before so know the islands and what's important.

Is there any question about DFDS's reliability? If you are investing in a deal that is tied to a 5-year operating licence then you are going to make an effort. And they would have to invest in new tonnage for the obvious reasons so the reliability of the vessels would then depend on how and where they are built. Making them more luxurious inside, and charging passengers more for the privilege, does not necessarily mean that the underlying ship is any more reliable than a more 'economically cofigured' vessel. 

 

14 minutes ago, Gareth said:

BF would be a great catch for the Islands.  What is less clear is what’s in this for BF, but there must be something.

There has to be an element of not wishing to share port space with another operator and the risk that it leads to direct or indirect competing services on their routes, most particularly St Malo to the UK, especially if they are considering investing in a Bretagne-replacement. Ed. 

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But until the recent ro paxes DFDS have ordered for the Baltic and Calais routes, DFDS have had a history of not ordering a single passenger ship since the Harwich to Esbjerg ferry Dana Anglia in 1978! The Sacandinavia of 1982 (built as a cruise ship) Crown Seaways of 1994 (taken on after Eurolink cancelled the order) and Dana Sirena of 2003 (again taken after another company cancelled their order) don't count. They also have a history of closing nearly all their passenger routes across the North Sea. Really liked this company in the 1980s and 1990s for their excellent quality cruise ferries. Perhaps DFDS may be good but I think Brittany Ferries will be better.

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30 minutes ago, Nick Hyde said:

But until the recent ro paxes DFDS have ordered for the Baltic and Calais routes, DFDS have had a history of not ordering a single passenger ship since the Harwich to Esbjerg ferry Dana Anglia in 1978! The Sacandinavia of 1982 (built as a cruise ship) Crown Seaways of 1994 (taken on after Eurolink cancelled the order) and Dana Sirena of 2003 (again taken after another company cancelled their order) don't count. They also have a history of closing nearly all their passenger routes across the North Sea. Really liked this company in the 1980s and 1990s for their excellent quality cruise ferries. Perhaps DFDS may be good but I think Brittany Ferries will be better.

True but they didn't really need to order any ferries as each time they've taken over another struggling company the vessels have come as part of the package. Given the time it takes to get a ferry built, they have also decided that it's simpler to buy up existing vessels and adapt them. That obviously would not be an option with the CIs. As for the North Sea routes, if it's not sustainable in the face of competition from low cost flights then why run the routes at a loss? Transfer the ships to more profitable routes or lease then out. 

I personally think (and it is just my, perhaps warped, logic saying this) that it woud actually be more sensible to split up the licence agreement and dissociate the services from the UK to Jersey and Guernsey. Each State can award a licence based on their individual needs and priorities (Jersey - one or two links to the UK and one to St Malo & Guernsey - one link to the UK and one to Cherbourg). A third licence could then be issued covering interisland travel with seasonal passenger only services to Granville, Carteret and Dielette (providing a better service for Alderley too) and a small vehicle and passenger ferry shuttling between Guernsey (& Alderney a couple of times per week) and Jersey with a limited freight capacity (a bit like Victoria of Wight or the Quiberon to Belle Isle ferries). Split the contracts, split the risks (for both parties), split the investment needs and split the recriminations when something goes wrong. Ed. 

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Some good ideas cabin boy.

Ref DFDS and their North Sea passenger history they took on what was a successful Fjord Line Newcastle to Bergen route in 2007 then promptly closed it two years later after switching an unsuitable ship in the place of the former vessel. Also on other North Sea pax routes they could have made more effort with replacing their high capacity cruise ferries with ro paxes.

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Also one major difference between DFDS and Brittany Ferries. Brittany Ferries runs more of a cooperative social business model and DFDS has a more corporate conventional set up.  I am guessing that under normal business conditions some of Brittany Ferries route network would not be profitable enough and I that if the same exact routes were run by DFDS the level of investment and frequency would be far less. 

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I don't know this area well (the Channel Islands) but one thing is for sure and that is DFDS are only interested in the most profitable routes, they have demonstrated time and again that they are not particularly interested in taking a longer-term view where passenger routes are concerned.

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1 hour ago, Nick Hyde said:

Also one major difference between DFDS and Brittany Ferries. Brittany Ferries runs more of a cooperative social business model and DFDS has a more corporate conventional set up.  I am guessing that under normal business conditions some of Brittany Ferries route network would not be profitable enough and I that if the same exact routes were run by DFDS the level of investment and frequency would be far less. 

I would have thought this is almost certainly correct. There's plenty of examples, such as the Irish Sea routes they inherited from Norfolkline. Within months the Birkenhead-Dublin route was closed, and the Belfast route sold to Stena. There's also Portsmouth-Le Havre to consider; DFDS gave it up as unprofitable, whereas BF are planning to upgrade from next year.

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I highly doubt it will impact Condor. A large portion of the Jersey and Guernsey to St Malo traffic is islanders taking their cars and motoring homes on driving holidays. Many more islanders do this with their cars rather than go north to the UK.

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