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Re-Start of BF Passenger Services

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From the update:

"I hope that many of you will have seen news bulletins this morning"

Well we've certainly all seen this evening's news reports. 

Ed. 

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In a moment of madness, I recently booked a 2-day BF trip for mid-September as our French supermarket wine stash is looking a bit threadbare these days. We're on an 8.15 Portsmouth-Ouistreham crossing and the return is via the same route overnight. Unlike, I suspect, many people, we always book a cabin and tend to spend a lot of time in it. For example, on the 8.15 we would get some breakfast from the self-service, crash out in the cabin until lunchtime catching up on sleep after the early start, then head for the restaurant and the buffet (happy memories!) then recover from over-eating back in the cabin.

We'll see nearer the time what the BF catering arrangements are, but if we are expected to buy food then take it back to eat in the cabin, we'll be taking our own food instead, stay in the cabin and probably save money in the process. It's up to BF as to how pleasant/unpleasant they want to make it given the restrictions. I suspect they will soon realise that they need people to be spending money on board. If DFDS can run a restaurant service, then so can BF. Should all prove very interesting.......

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We have just received an encouraging email from BF regarding our Portsmouth - Ouistreham jaunt in July. We will be taking our own picnics and drink with us in both directions to be on the safe side, and as we are heading for our maison secondaire we will be reasonably quarantined anyway. Looking good. There will be a full report in due course ....

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2 hours ago, veryoldbear said:

We have just received an encouraging email from BF regarding our Portsmouth - Ouistreham jaunt in July. We will be taking our own picnics and drink with us in both directions to be on the safe side, and as we are heading for our maison secondaire we will be reasonably quarantined anyway. Looking good. There will be a full report in due course ....

Which ship and how encouraging ?

Sounds positive,

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, David Williams said:

Which ship and how encouraging ?

Sounds positive,

The problem is the email was entitled 'We look forward to welcoming you on board Honfleur'. Will you tell him, or shall I?

Ed

Edited by Cabin-boy
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10 minutes ago, veryoldbear said:

No. Normandie.

You are a tease, when are you booked on Normandie and how positive was the mail ? I was expecting Normandie to continue resting,

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3 hours ago, veryoldbear said:

We have just received an encouraging email from BF regarding our Portsmouth - Ouistreham jaunt in July. We will be taking our own picnics and drink with us in both directions to be on the safe side, and as we are heading for our maison secondaire we will be reasonably quarantined anyway. Looking good. There will be a full report in due course ....

.We've a booking on Normandie for the morning sailing on July 4th and received an email from BF this morning.

News now reporting that HMG is reviewing the 14 day quarantining for some EU countries including Portugal, an announcement on the 29th has been planned for a while and I'm sure the discussions held with Ursula Von de Leyen and Monsieur Macron have formed part of the reasoning. 

Spain is opening it's internal borders between all regions from Monday.

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7 minutes ago, jonno said:

We've a booking on Normandie for the morning sailing on July 4th and received an email from BF this morning.

Is that the ‘we will shortly be welcoming you onboard, don’t complain if you don’t turn off data roaming ‘ or was it specific saying that it is definitely on ? 

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, David Williams said:

Is that the ‘we will shortly be welcoming you onboard, don’t complain if you don’t turn off data roaming ‘ or was it specific saying that it is definitely on ? 

After 10 weeks of operating a small handful of sailings for freight and essential travel, I'm really pleased to confirm our passenger services will begin their staggered return from 29 June. It's been a long time coming and although it won't be the full return we've hoped for, yet, we can't wait to welcome our customers on board.

The sailing will be different. There are a host of safety measures that will be deployed to keep everyone on board secure and protected, including intensified cleaning and the compulsory wearing of masks. You can read more about those changes in the Your Sailings tab at brittanyferries.com/coronavirus and we'll be in touch in more detail in due course.

Putting our excitement for getting sailings underway again aside, I fully understand that not everyone will feel comfortable travelling just yet. If this is the case, I'd like to offer you the opportunity to cancel this sailing and receive a Refund Credit Note for the full value of the booking (including any return sailing with the same booking reference).

The credit note is valid for two years and can be redeemed against any Brittany Ferries holiday or sailing in the future.

If you'd like to take advantage of this limited offer, please simply reply to this email and the team will make the necessary arrangements.

I'm afraid I can only keep this offer open until 5 days before your sailing is due to leave, after that time our cancellation policy will come into effect, so please get in touch as soon as you can.

If you're still planning on sailing with us, great! We can't wait to get going again and look forward to seeing you onboard, now more than ever.

Yours sincerely

Gareth Bewley
Customer Services Manager

It opened with the booking reference.

Edited by jonno
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The Radio 4 PM programme suggested this evening that 'travel corridors' would probably be announced on 29 June and could come into effect on 4 July. Ed. 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

The Radio 4 PM programme suggested this evening that 'travel corridors' would probably be announced on 29 June and could come into effect on 4 July. Ed. 

The papers have been saying that as well, it is difficult to see many passenger sailings in the week of the 29th. However, hopefully BF will publish the new summer timetable next week with some contingency for pushing back some sailings until quarantine is lifted - note that Ireland still has quarantine & that affects Pont Aven as well as Kerry.

A link re Irish Quarantine is https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/no-commitment-on-lifting-of-14-day-quarantine-for-arrivals-into-country-1.4257098

Plan B for no Ireland could be to  do another Plymouth - Roscoff return and delay the Amorique 

Edited by David Williams
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According to todays Irish Times the 14 day quarantine says :

the regulations that remain in force require people entering the Republic from abroad to provide the address where they will be self-isolating for the required 14-day period. They were extended for a further three weeks and will now be in place until at least July 9th.

Full article below

Air bridges, travel bubbles, adapted airports: Will they help us to fly this summer?

 

 

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A friend of mine has had his Portsmouth to St Malo sailing confirmed for July, so it looks like Bretagne is restarting.

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Jean-Marc Roué on Ouest France. Sorry, in French and off to bed so no time to translate. No route closures planned. 5 ships in service will take passengers from 29th except Pelican. Barfleur, NEX and Etretat not back soon, perhaps not in 2020.

Quel est l’impact de la crise sanitaire sur l’activité de Brittany Ferries ?

 

Notre flotte compte douze navires. Il n’y en a plus que cinq qui naviguent actuellement, dont deux seulement sur le transmanche. Deux autres opèrent entre l’Espagne et l’Angleterre, un autre entre l’Espagne et l’Irlande. Ils transportent uniquement du fret. Avec ce dispositif, on arrive à transporter entre 60 et 65 % des volumes de fret que l’on faisait avec l’ensemble de nos lignes en 2019. Par contre, sur avril et mai, on n’a pas transporté de passagers. En avril, on a réalisé 5,4 millions d’euros de chiffre d’affaires au lieu de 31. Sur ces deux mois, le décalage atteint 70 millions d’euros par rapport à 2019. Actuellement, 1 300 navigants sont au chômage partiel et 400 sédentaires. Cela représente les deux tiers des navigants et les trois quarts des sédentaires.

Comment se présente la reprise d’activité ?

Quatre des cinq navires qui opèrent actuellement doivent à nouveau transporter des passagers à partir du 28 juin, le cinquième étant un pur fréteur. Ensuite, jusqu’au 14 juillet, les autres bateaux, actuellement au mouillage au Havre et à Cherbourg, vont progressivement reprendre la mer. Mais toute la flotte de Brittany Ferries ne repartira pas en 2020.

Pourquoi ?

Parce que nous avons 240 000 réservations confirmées pour juillet et août, contre 780 000 pour ces deux mois en année normale. Évidemment, même si les mesures de distanciation vont diminuer la jauge des navires de plusieurs centaines de passagers, le niveau des réservations implique une flotte plus réduite que de coutume. En conséquence, trois navires ne repartiront pas tout de suite : le Normandie Express, le Barfleur et l’Étretat.

Quel soutien avez-vous obtenu des pouvoirs publics ?

Les trois entreprises françaises du transport transmanche (Getlink, DFDS et Brittany Ferries) ont obtenu d’être éligibles aux mesures du plan de relance tourisme. Cela doit nous permettre de bénéficier d’une extension du chômage partiel aux conditions actuelles jusqu’à la fin de notre saison estivale, c’est-à-dire jusqu’au 30 septembre. Nous demandons aussi à pouvoir bénéficier du PGE saison, c’est-à-dire un prêt garanti par l’État qui serait calculé sur les trois meilleurs mois de l’exercice passé. Ce qui permettait à Brittany Ferries d’être assez à l’aise pour passer l’hiver, avec une trésorerie suffisante pour respecter nos engagements, en premier lieu le versement des salaires.

Des mesures de quatorzaine sont en vigueur de part et d’autre de la Manche. Cet été, les navires de Brittany Ferries transporteront-ils des touristes britanniques ?

Nous avons bâti un plan de reprise à partir du 28 juin. Pour l’instant, c’est la date à laquelle s’arrête la quatorzaine mise en place par le Royaume-Uni. La réciprocité décidée par la France s’applique aussi jusqu’à fin juin. On croise les doigts en souhaitant qu’aucun des deux États ne décidera une prolongation de cette quatorzaine, ce qui n’est pas totalement exclu. Cela nous obligerait à annuler encore des traversées en juillet. C’est très perturbant. Les salariés qui doivent reprendre leur activité à partir du 28 juin figurent déjà dans les planifications. Et eux aussi ont pris leurs dispositions, en matière de garde d’enfants, par exemple.

A quel niveau pourraient se situer les pertes de Brittany Ferries en 2020 ?

Tout ce qu’on peut dire, c’est que les chiffres vont être très, très mauvais. Pour être clair, on s’attache surtout au cash aujourd’hui, plutôt qu’à la préservation d’un compte de résultats qui serait présentable. Il sera présenté mais il va être archi-pourri.

MjAyMDA2YTI4OWQ5MmU1YjdjNWE3MTRkNWQ5OGQwNzkzYWRmOTc?width=630&focuspoint=51%2C59&cropresize=1&client_id=bpeditorial&sign=84ca8049b176e427e2ae52b491c4ef2ba8e23588661c110d5a92be118b54032f L’Armorique de la compagnie Brittany Ferries dans le port de Saint-Malo. Brittany Ferries exploite une flotte de douze navires. | ARCHIVES THOMAS BRÉGARDIS/OUEST FRANCE

Quel est le montant des prêts garantis par l’État obtenus par Brittany Ferries ?

On a déjà pris 117 millions d’euros, ce qui correspond à 25 % de notre chiffre d’affaires 2019. C’est le montant maximum autorisé. Si nous sommes autorisés à bénéficier d’un PGE saison, nous aurons un droit de tirage de 50 millions d’euros supplémentaires. Cela ferait, au total, près de 170 millions d’euros de prêts garantis par l’État. Mais ce n’est pas gagné. C’est ce que j’ai dit aux salariés. Ce n’est pas parce que l’État nous autorise à être inscrit dans le PGE saison que les banquiers accepteront automatiquement de nous faire une rallonge. Mais ce sera plus simple de discuter avec eux si l’on a une garantie de 90 % de BPI France en cas de défaillance du client.

Mardi, vous vous êtes adressé aux salariés de Brittany Ferries. Que leur avez-vous annoncé ?

On va emprunter entre 117 et 170 millions d’euros. Nous aurons tout cet argent-là à rembourser à partir du printemps prochain sur cinq ans. C’est un calendrier de remboursement extrêmement contraint. J’ai donc annoncé aux salariés qu’il y aura des efforts à faire en interne. L’État a déjà annoncé un plan tourisme, un plan aérien, un plan automobile. Je milite, moi, pour un plan maritime et transmanche. Mais je pense qu’il sera plus facile aux autorités publiques d’accepter de venir à notre aide si, en interne, chacun a démontré sa volonté à s’aider soi-même et à aider l’ensemble de l’entreprise. L’objectif, aujourd’hui, c’est la préservation de l’emploi, et donc de notre périmètre d’activité. Cela implique d’améliorer notre rentabilité.

Quels seront ces efforts demandés en interne ?

Très certainement, le volume de CDD sera moins important parce que notre volume d’affaires risque d’être moins important. Les départs naturels ne seront pas forcément remplacés immédiatement. Pourquoi ? Parce que nous irons aussi chercher de la polyvalence afin de réduire, potentiellement, le nombre de salariés nécessaires pour un poste de navigant ou de sédentaire. Puisqu’il va falloir améliorer la rentabilité, on ne pourra pas tenir tout ce qui était promis en matière d’aménagement du temps de travail et de nombre de salariés par poste de travail avant la crise Covid.

Envisagez-vous une adaptation de votre réseau et des fermetures de lignes ?

À l’heure actuelle, nous n’avons pas prévu de réduction de nos lignes en 2021. C’est logique. Si nous supprimons des lignes, cela aura un impact sur le volume d’activité, et donc sur l’emploi.

Brittany Ferries s’est engagé dans un plan ambitieux de renouvellement de sa flotte avec, notamment, le passage à la propulsion gaz. Que devient-il alors que vous venez de résilier le contrat de construction du Honfleur ?

Avec nos alliés de la Somanor, nous avons perdu confiance dans la capacité du chantier de terminer le Honfleur dans un délai qui soit raisonnable. Normalement, il aurait dû être livré en avril 2019. Puis, ce devait être le printemps 2020. Cela n’a pas été le cas, non plus. Nous avons donc décidé de résilier le contrat. Ce qui ne veut pas dire que tout est fini pour le renouvellement de la flotte. Le Galicia, le premier navire du projet E-Flexer, va commencer ses essais à la mer le 10 juillet. Il nous sera livré vraisemblablement fin août. Ensuite, dans un an, ce devrait être le Salamanca, qui fonctionnera au GNL. Il n’y a pas non plus de retard d’annoncé pour le Santoña. Et nous verrons à la sortie de la crise du Covid-19 la possibilité de nous lancer dans un nouveau projet de ferry avec la Somanor.

Chiffres-clés. Brittany Ferries, c’est une flotte de douze navires, 2,49 millions passagers transportés par an et un chiffre d’affaires de 469 millions d’euros en 2019. L’effectif moyen est de 2 787 personnels navigants et sédentaires (chiffre 2018).

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24 minutes ago, colin said:

5 ships in service will take passengers from 29th except Pelican. Barfleur, NEX and Etretat not back soon, perhaps not in 2020.

I did assume that the week of the 29th would just be the existing ships. Jonno’s email did look very similar to the one that British Airways sent out to persuade you to swap for a voucher prior to cancelling the flight and triggering refunds.  

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12 minutes ago, David Williams said:

I did assume that the week of the 29th would just be the existing ships. Jonno’s email did look very similar to the one that British Airways sent out to persuade you to swap for a voucher prior to cancelling the flight and triggering refunds.  

what will be the timetable on each of the lines?

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Just now, LHCity said:

what will be the timetable on each of the lines?

Hopefully we will find out next week together with the phasing in of the other ships. Increasing the time in port will either mean reducing sailings on the Caen route or leaving even less time to sleep.

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Sounds to me like MSM, Normandie, Armorique, Pont Aven and Bretagne will be back in service on U.K.-France routes.  That's pretty much normal service apart from Portsmouth-Le Havre and Poole-Cherbourg.

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All the ships except Normandie Express (Disappointing), Barfleur, and Etretat. It's not going to be much fun being on board if they stick to the restrictions.

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With yesterday's news from the Irish Government extending non-essential travel advice for a further 3 weeks, we're expecting an email from BF cancelling our sailing from Cork on 4 July. 

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Posted (edited)

They are going to have to run a fairly regular, classic,  timetable on the routes they reopen I think simply to meet the needs of those customers already booked and relying on BF to get them to France for their holiday reservations, and particularly those travelling with pets. Many will have booked packages back in Summer and Autumn last year and won't necessarily wish to cancel or be able to change their plans relating to linked accommodation. If Ouistreham and Caen can take the overflow from Cherbourg and Le Havre then I can't see a massive change. Cleaning is obviously the big issue but if they ask passengers to bag up bedding on departure that speeds things up and they might even simply issue new passengers with a bag of fresh linen to lay out themselves. 

In terms of possible changes:

If they run CF from Portsmouth to Spain as usual, they could them move PA to Plymouth for this summer to allow crossings to Spain to take less time (and therefore be less boring for passengers) as well as offering one weekend rotation to Roscoff. 

If that were to be the case, they could perhaps switch weekday Plymouth to Roscoff traffic to St Malo or Caen and allow Armorique to join MSM and Normandie at Portsmouth to provide a three ship service but one where each stays in port for around 6 hours for cleaning between rotations. 

The Cork service doesn't seem likely to resume just yet but PA would obviously have to pick that back up when it does. 

Ed

Edited by Cabin-boy

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Back to the article, it says that the ships will be phased back into service before July 14, however it also assumes quarantine ending on June 29th with restart delays if it doesn’t

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