16 JANUARY 2012
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SeaFrance, the French cross Channel operator has finally folded after not operating for nearly two months. This gives P&O a monopoly on the Dover – Calais route although DFDS Seaways offers an alternative via Dunkirk. The operation is a ‘hot potato’ in France with nearly 1,000 jobs lost at what is effectively a state-run operation and French Presidential elections due in four months’ time. SeaFrance has not been helped by a staffing attitude that has meant regular strikes and a loss of confidence by the travelling public.
P&O now reigns supreme on a route that has seen much change (and many operators) over the last 50 years including hovercraft and the emergence of the Channel tunnel.
SeaFrance has four ferries suitable for the route. As AERBT closes for publication it is not clear if these will find a friendly home (that is brought back into service with a new operator) or disposed of. www.poferries.com
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