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First Spain, now France. Is this the death knell for BF?


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Statement from Portsmouth Port Director, Mike Sellers.

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues to dominate operations at Portsmouth International Port.

In the early stages it was an acute response, passenger travel stopped and we focussed all our attention on keeping critical freight moving.

As restrictions eased and travel started to slowly re-emerge, we concentrated efforts on making sure we could look after passengers safely and help get back to some sort of normality.

However, this pandemic is producing chronic, longer term issues and our ferry and cruise customers are bearing the brunt of difficult decisions.

Cruise has ground to a halt, with crew repatriation the priority. We hope cruise travel can return soon, but it is difficult to say with confidence when that’s going be. It’s incredibly hard for the industry at the moment to plan, when the situation is changing reactively.

Our ferry customers are suffering significantly too. Trying to run sailings with reduced capacity, coupled with quarantine restrictions, understandably means having to re evaluate how they operate. If passengers aren’t travelling then the options are limited.

We are calling on the government to introduce fast track testing at ports and airports to avoid the uncertainty in travel conditions. We’re interested in exploring whether fast track testing would be beneficial and also the outcome of antibody testing, both will hopefully help understand who is infectious, which is the main solution to controlling the spread of the virus.

As a local authority port we pride ourselves on contributing significantly to the council’s budget, more than ever essential services for vulnerable groups need financial support. This does weigh heavily on our minds, and motivates us all at the port to do the best we can.

We have invested in the future of Portsmouth port, extending our berth has already seen the largest commercial ship welcomed into the harbour. Inevitably, we have stalled some investments during this time and It’s crucial these projects are given the financial support they need to continue so that they can help kick start the economy.

We will continue to prioritise green initiatives, because while it’s difficult now we need to make sure environmental concerns aren’t overlooked.

At the end of the year we also face the one of the country’s biggest ever changes to the movement of goods, the end of the transition to leave the EU. The port needs to be ready.

We are resilient, we will adapt to a changing situation, but it is tough for our customers and there are people relying on us. As anyone working in the ports industry knows, the tide always turns.

Mike Sellers

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Brittany Ferries has sent BFE the following statement, in response to some of the recent media speculation: .

What a great statement and hopefully the prophets of doom will sleep easier tonight. As some of you are aware I'm in a business that relys heavily on ferry companies bringing passengers over to France

You can't magic up freight demand for north western France out of nothing, what a strange view of the world. It can be teased away from the tunnel to some degree but the fact of the travel patterns in

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1 hour ago, Andy said:

Brittany Ferries has sent BFE the following statement, in response to some of the recent media speculation:

.

What a great statement and hopefully the prophets of doom will sleep easier tonight. As some of you are aware I'm in a business that relys heavily on ferry companies bringing passengers over to France. The Covid 19 pandemic is providing a challenge we wouldn't have even contemplated in our worst nightmare just a few short months ago. Good management is all about taking the correct, prudent decisions now, even though they can appear deeply unpopular at the time. We've made them to ensure our long-term survival and it will be tough for some months to come, but flapping about wildly bemoaning the unfairness of it all helps nobody. Using the analogy Nigel used, if I'm out in the Solent in my yacht and a storm appears I reduce my sail area, or take it down completely and turn to the engine to get me to my destination. We've all had to change course this summer but still intend to end up where were aiming for even though it will be slightly later than planned, and I for one have been convinced from day one of this crisis that Brittany Ferries will do the same.

Chris

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On 20/08/2020 at 12:24, Cabin-boy said:

Statement from Pierre le Bear:

We're not out of the woods yet.

 

Pierre is obviously in close contact with the CEO, see the latest message delivered today:

We continue to take a forensic eye to the detail of all forthcoming sailings and it is likely we will need to extend the consolidation in the coming months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, BZH29 said:

 

We need more statements from Pierre Le Bear then! Clearly involved in decision making at the very top!  We should also get his views on bread rolls and Le Havre.

Edited by ZinedineBiscan
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16 minutes ago, ZinedineBiscan said:

We need more statements from Pierre Le Bear then! Clearly involved in decision making at the very top!  We should also get his views on bread rolls and Le Havre.

We'll have to ask him pretty quickly in that case as autumn and winter will soon be here and he'll no longer be posting on social media. He'll be cybernating! 

Ed. 

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6 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

We'll have to ask him pretty quickly in that case as autumn and winter will soon be here and he'll no longer be posting on social media. He'll be cybernating! 

Ed. 

Come on Pierre’s never been to Le Havre every body knows bears don’t do economie.

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15 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

We'll have to ask him pretty quickly in that case as autumn and winter will soon be here and he'll no longer be posting on social media. He'll be cybernating! 

Ed. 

It's all down to the "Bear Necessities" at the moment!

 

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Even Pierre's mask (children can stop reading now) might not offer enough protection. 

From the BBC:

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In Australia, nine new Covid-19 infections have been linked to the set of the hit reality TV show The Masked Singer, taking the total number of cases to 16.

Broadcaster Network 10 said all cast and crew would complete 14-days' self-isolation, including those who had already tested negative.

Production of the Australian version of the show was suspended at the weekend after several crew members tested positive for Covid-19.

The show is filmed in Melbourne, Victoria, which has been at the centre of a spike in coronavirus infections. Residents are subject to strict lockdown rules.

-------

Ed

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Armorique took a battering coming in tonight! 2 tugs and the pilot in a 25 minute struggle! Tugs dancing around like mosquitoes trying to keep her from flying across to the adjacent dolphins! I would have posted in the other board but I don't have any footage... although I bet some will emerge. I bet the passengers onboard wish they had given up and gone back 😉

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From the BBC:

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  • France's second city Marseille will require the wearing of masks throughout the city from late tonight. Marseille has a rate of 177 cases per 100,000 - the national average is 33

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I wonder what the national average would be if they excluded Marseille (and perhaps the Paris area) from the calculations? It might mean a UK quarantine was unnecessary. In fact, if they simply divided Marseille into three and gave all the cases equally to Morroco, Tunisia and Algeria that would bring the national rate right down. 😉

Ed

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13 hours ago, hf_uk said:

Armorique took a battering coming in tonight! 2 tugs and the pilot in a 25 minute struggle! Tugs dancing around like mosquitoes trying to keep her from flying across to the adjacent dolphins! I would have posted in the other board but I don't have any footage... although I bet some will emerge. I bet the passengers onboard wish they had given up and gone back 😉

 

 

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Yes, they always do this for strong winds. Zip straight out. They practise it once a week usually too. Tonight back to normal tho, calm as anything bow in. Well, calm is actually the absolute ABNORMAL for Plymouth, but that's another story! 

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On 18/08/2020 at 22:10, cvabishop said:

I think there are a lot of relatively affluent pensioners who if conditions suddenly returned to normal would be off to France like a shot.

Me and the missus are two of them! Sadly I think our options will be limited should Ply-Ros route be axed. The 230 mile journey from mid Cornwall to Pompey is long and tedious to say the least.

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I suggest you might want to have a read of the latest CEO update..Its rather sobering I`m afraid. The actual summer passenger traffic was worse than they had expected and in fact less than 200,000. Normally would be in excess of 700,000. As a result they will soon implement stage 2 of the consolidation plan and apologises in advance to people with plans this winter for France or Spain (second home owners) and includes disruption to visiting relatives in UK/Ireland/Spain and France. He has emphasised the need for Government support from both the French and UK Governments. He is though positive for the eventual outcome and a better 2021..Lets all hope so but sounds suspiciously like the Cap to Spain and the Mont to Caen. All the rest confined to barracks.

Edited by Paully
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On 27/08/2020 at 12:54, KenTownley said:

Me and the missus are two of them! Sadly I think our options will be limited should Ply-Ros route be axed. The 230 mile journey from mid Cornwall to Pompey is long and tedious to say the least.

Yep, in the same boat. Pardon the pun!
Long drive to Portsmouth, long drive westbound to the French Atlantic coast. We would be no better than Cummings wandering through France with  a rise in infection and the risk of breakdown in a country already starting to  suffer again.

Sadly, a place in France, then wandering through the country, improving our efforts to speak the language well are slowly drifting from our minds. It doesn't help that we have money invested in  BF with unused tickets and vouchers and then maybe, just maybe, lose our Plymouth-Roscoff link will be the final  straw.

Just like BF trying to make plans, we too are doing the same but my wife and I have limited time left being retired. Do we want horrendous driving times in our old age. No thanks! There comes a time in life when travel becomes painful. Air travel or at least Airports are a case in hand. Never, anymore.
So I say this to the BF CEO. I feel your pain and hope you recover but there comes a time when we may say "no more and walk away". As you retrench, the customer may drift away. But you knew that anyway!

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Condor Ferries has had a bad time too. 70 per cent drop in income, 40 per cent drop in freight volumes and about 200 redundancies. Times are critical for all ferry companies courtesy of covid. BF also of course have a 25 per cent share in Condor.

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It is not looking good. I suspect we are staring at the possibility of a skeleton service one to France and one to Spain. The France service will have to be Portsmouth-Caen bearing in mind that this is the most likely to get some UK Brexit subsidy to ensure freight services. They will want to use one or two of the most fuel efficient ships on this run, and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if they go for longer crossing times to cut fuel costs and cut manning to the minimum. Maybe one ship on the Spanish run. Would it make sense to get Galicia running asap? Everything else may have to be laid up or at least anchored up like the cruise liners to minimise costs.

Edited by veryoldbear
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6 minutes ago, veryoldbear said:

Would it make sense to get Galicia running asap?

BF are saying mid December for running Galicia, not sure whether that fits with the CF maintenance.

ps could well be MSM to Caen and a Vissenti to Cherbourg or Cherbourg/ Le Havre, very similar to the April schedule.

Edited by David Williams
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