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English And French Unions to Fight Arrival of Irish Ferries New Service on Dover-Calais Route

26th May 2021
Chief executive of the Port of Dover, Doug Bannister says he is 'delighted to welcome Irish Ferries' and it would 'complement the resilient services currently provided'. Above AFLOAT' file photo Isle of Inishmore which is to start a new 'freight' service on the premier Dover-Calais route next month. The cruiseferry is seen with trucks on the linkspan at Rosslare Europort, from where a replacement ferry Blue Star 1 currently operates to Pembroke in south Wales. Chief executive of the Port of Dover, Doug Bannister says he is 'delighted to welcome Irish Ferries' and it would 'complement the resilient services currently provided'. Above AFLOAT' file photo Isle of Inishmore which is to start a new 'freight' service on the premier Dover-Calais route next month. The cruiseferry is seen with trucks on the linkspan at Rosslare Europort, from where a replacement ferry Blue Star 1 currently operates to Pembroke in south Wales. Credit: Jehan Ashmore

UK and French unions claim the firm, Irish Ferries, which already operates Ireland-UK and Ireland-France routes, is aggressively low-cost and will seriously damage existing services and result in a lowering of standards.

Cross-Channel (Strait of Dover) ferry firms are hoping holiday travel will increase after a difficult year – especially if France is listed as ‘green’ in the UK’s traffic light travel scheme this month.

Irish Ferries’ website shows Britain-France options but no dates may yet be booked. It says the service will start in June with the transfer of the Isle of Inishmore. A second ferry is expected late this year and another in 2022.

The firm says it wants to “bring more choice to customers”. Freight lorries will be able to travel from Ireland through Wales and England, then via ferry to the Continent.

It says the level of passenger services will depend on the easing of Covid restrictions.

It is not known if foot passenger bookings will be offered.

Rival (see story) P&O has not yet resumed these and they are not offered by the other Dover-Calais operator, DFDS.

The chairman of Calais port, Jean-Marc Puissesseau, called the launch a “clear sign of confidence” in a year which also sees major infrastructure improvements at Calais.

Further reading, reports The Connexion. 

Published in Irish Ferries
Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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About Irish Ferries

Irish Ferries, owned by the Irish Continental Group, is a a major ferry operator in Ireland, providing daily and weekly links to and from Ireland for tourism and freight travelling between Ireland and the UK and Ireland and the continent. Irish Ferries has a fleet of six ships, three of which service the busy Dublin to Holyhead route.

The ICG Chairman is John B McGuckian and the CEO is Eamon Rothwell.

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