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P&O Downsizing

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P&O Ferries has announced plans to make 1,100 of its staff redundant.

The ferry operator, based in Dover, Kent, said the reduced number of vessels and downturn in business had forced its decision to lay off staff.

A spokesperson for the firm said "right-sizing" the business was a necessary step to create a viable and sustainable P&O Ferries.

The owners of P&O Ferries had previously stated the business needed £257m in aid to avoid collapse.

Natalie Elphicke, MP for Dover and Deal, said the news was "disappointing" and urged P&O's owners to "stump up or sell to better owners".

 

'Hard-working British taxpayer'

She said: "Let's remember that P&O, which is owned by the Sovereign State of Dubai, has received millions of pounds of financial support from our government in recent weeks. There can be no doubt that Dubai has more than enough money to keep P&O going in full.

"It cannot be right for them to have taken millions of pounds from the hard-working British taxpayer in furlough and freight support payments and then decide to pull the rug."

In April, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem told the BBC the company had applied to the UK government for £150m.

 

'Ongoing downturn'

A consultation period was now under way, a spokesperson added.

He said: "Since the beginning of the crisis, P&O Ferries has been working with its stakeholders to address the impact of the loss of the passenger business.

"It is now clear that right-sizing the business is necessary to create a viable and sustainable P&O Ferries to get through Covid-19.

"Regrettably, therefore, due to the reduced number of vessels we are operating and the ongoing downturn in business we are beginning consultation proceedings with a proposal to make around 1,100 of our colleagues redundant."

Quoted above for ease!

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Sorry, am in a slight state of provisionally incensed bewilderment, just need to check.  Do I understand correctly that this company was actually successful in its appeal for a bail-out from the UK taxpayer but in spite of that has responded with this? (When the news first came out this afternoon I had assumed the government had sensibly declined its appeal and this was the response).

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I think it's referring to the subsidies the cross Channel and Irish Sea operators have had to keep freight moving, and the furlough scheme for employees.

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1 hour ago, Gareth said:

Sorry, am in a slight state of provisionally incensed bewilderment, just need to check.  Do I understand correctly that this company was actually successful in its appeal for a bail-out from the UK taxpayer but in spite of that has responded with this? (When the news first came out this afternoon I had assumed the government had sensibly declined its appeal and this was the response).

As I understand it Gareth the Government did decline the Sheiks begging bowl, held out as he handed out £270 M in dividends..

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1 hour ago, VikingVoyager said:

the only slightly encouraging thing was that they said reduced number of ships (not routes)

Are there any ships which might be of interest to BF?

 

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From what I read, may well be wrong but the Government did give them cash for running the Freight routes at the start of this virus issue, but I read in a Telegraph article (behind a paywall) that they were holding out on the rescue cash itself due to DP World not meeting the criteria

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1 hour ago, nottingham said:

Are there any ships which might be of interest to BF?

 

Probably not. 

The Pride of Hull and Rotterdam might suit the Spain routes (though probably too big) but BF are sorted there with newer, more suitable tonnage and others (DFDS) might be more interested. European Highlander could take the place of Barfleur but is only ten years younger.

In all likelihood the ships to go will be European Seaway, Pride of Burgundy, Pride of Kent and Pride of Canterbury.  Hopefully they don't close Zeebrugge to passengers but if they do that would also leave Pride of York and Pride of Bruges. All seem most likely to go for scrap than anything else.

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Have they confirmed the order for the new build Calais boats? When are they due if so? If they are confirmed then maybe their business plan is to wait for those two and then ramp up staffing again. 1,100 staff does seem like a lot though.  That's more than a couple of ships crew. I hope someone else takes them on, no idea who would right now. But can hope..

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Just heard a rumour that the pride of York may have been sold, and not to breakers. Not sure of the validity of this though

 

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3 hours ago, VikingVoyager said:

Just heard a rumour that the pride of York may have been sold, and not to breakers. Not sure of the validity of this though

 

Are you sure it's not the Duke of York to the US prosecutor's office? Ed. 

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4 hours ago, VikingVoyager said:

Just heard a rumour that the pride of York may have been sold, and not to breakers. Not sure of the validity of this though

 

Thanks for that. Not suprised. I always thought that, even in the good times, sooner or later the route would go down to one passenger ship. The `Bruges` was always the more reliable of the two. Be interesting to see if the Bruges runs the route on her own or has a freighter running mate.

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6 hours ago, VikingVoyager said:

Just heard a rumour that the pride of York may have been sold, and not to breakers. Not sure of the validity of this though

 

What was the budget for the new "trade deal" Britannia? :P

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2 hours ago, Paully said:

Thanks for that. Not suprised. I always thought that, even in the good times, sooner or later the route would go down to one passenger ship. The `Bruges` was always the more reliable of the two. Be interesting to see if the Bruges runs the route on her own or has a freighter running mate.

I should emphasise that this is just a Facebook rumour but, I agree, it does sound realistic - I just hope that it is a case of Bruges remaining rather than awaiting sale.

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Just looking at P&O's website and it's not possible to make any Hull - Zeebrugge bookings currently, tried dates throughout the summer. Rotterdam is bookable however, so that may well add some value to the rumour. It would be a big shame to see one or both go and not be replaced by another passenger vessel, but that seems to be the way it's going. 

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43 minutes ago, Tumnus2010 said:

Just looking at P&O's website and it's not possible to make any Hull - Zeebrugge bookings currently, tried dates throughout the summer. Rotterdam is bookable however, so that may well add some value to the rumour. It would be a big shame to see one or both go and not be replaced by another passenger vessel, but that seems to be the way it's going. 

On a personal level, it would also be quite inconvenient!

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For me, Hull-Zeebrugge is definitely one of the most relaxing & enjoyable crossings I can think of, so it would be a real shame to lose it. I think a lot of it is down to the ships, which were originally so well designed. 

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Agreed. We were planning in using them later this summer, if it sails. For us with young children the departure and arrival times work well, plenty of things for them to watch in the lock. And like being on Bretagne and PA it's nice to be able to stand right at the stern. 

 

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3 hours ago, Tumnus2010 said:

Agreed. We were planning in using them later this summer, if it sails. For us with young children the departure and arrival times work well, plenty of things for them to watch in the lock. And like being on Bretagne and PA it's nice to be able to stand right at the stern. 

 

I agree. We have young kids and they prefer the entertainment on POY and POB - it's a one man band but they like the smaller scale of it. 

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Hull - Zeebrugge now bookable again on website. Pride of York will take first crossing 6th July ex Hull. Good news.

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Edit to above post. Although Pride of York is bookable Monday 6th. No return dates are coming up for either ship..Could be a website glitch..theirs is on a par with Bf for being bad. 

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12 hours ago, Tumnus2010 said:

Edit to above post. Although Pride of York is bookable Monday 6th. No return dates are coming up for either ship..Could be a website glitch..theirs is on a par with Bf for being bad. 

I noticed that yesterday, must be a glitch.

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