Quarantine measures hit Brittany Ferries hard – routes cancelled

In a statement on its website, from CEO Christophe Mathieu, Brittany Ferries has detailed ‘necessary changes’ that will take place to mitigate against a terrible year, and continued drop off in passengers due to quarantine. Portsmouth will lose its Cherbourg and Le Havre routes until further notice, as well as its St Malo crossing.

Mathieu says he writes with a ‘heavy heart’ as the company’s services are severely restricted.

“In the face of a terrible summer season and faced with weak forward demand for services this autumn, we simply must take further decisive action,” Mathieu says. “The aim is to reduce costs as part of the company’s five-year recovery plan.

“It follows decisions by governments to impose quarantine restrictions on those arriving from Spain, and more recently France. As you may have read in the press, this led to an immediate run on cancellations. Around 65,000 passengers have now cancelled reservations since quarantine measures were announced. 

“We carried virtually no passenger traffic between the months of April and June, as the Covid-19 crisis hit. When we resumed, we had hoped to salvage 350,000 passengers from a summer season that would usually achieve more than double that number. 

“The reality however is that we are unlikely to reach even 200,000 this summer. Passenger traffic accounts for around 75 percent of our income, so our bottom line has been hit hard. It’s why we must continue to take decisive action to reduce our costs to get us through the worst of this unprecedented crisis and to ensure we rebound strongly next year.”

He says the company’s foundations are strong, and there’s a recovery plan in place, but in the short term passengers are going to be left wanting as Connemara – which currently serving Cherbourg-Portsmouth and Le Havre-Portsmouth – is taken out of service entirely from 7 September. 

This follows previously advised closure of the St-Malo Portsmouth route, with services terminating from 7 September. Cherbourg-Poole will also remain closed for the remainder of the year. 

The company’s busiest route, Caen-Portsmouth, remains unaffected for the next two months. Normandie and Mont St Michel will continue three daily departures as normal, with Armorique covering each ship’s technical stop in November and December respectively, running in freight-only mode.

“These necessary changes are a very sad reflection of the times in which we live but they are also indicative of a company that knows that it must take decisive action to safeguard its future and ensure it is able to serve its people, communities and regions long into the future,” Mathieu says.

Details of the changes are online.

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