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"Drastic changes" being made to save Condor

Tuesday 25 August 2020

"Drastic changes" being made to save Condor


"Drastic changes" are being made to save Condor, including staff cuts and running a limited service for the rest of the year, according to its CEO.

In an email to customers, Paul Luxon said that the ferry provider was suffering from being hit by a "perfect storm" of factors, including cancellations due to covid-19 and docker strikes in St Malo.

"The effect of this is that drastic changes are being made to protect Condor's future, which means a resizing of the business and sadly, this affects staffing across the company. As a consequence, we will be forced to run a more limited schedule for at least the remainder of this year," he said.

"We fully recognise our responsibilities for supporting the visitor economy, travel for Channel Islanders and for bringing in essential freight, and whilst none of us can use a crystal ball to predict the future, we hope that normality can, at some point, return."

St_Malo.jpg

Pictured: St Malo sailings have been affected by France's move to 'amber' status, and striking stevedores.

Passenger sailings were called off in March as the Channel Islands went into lockdown. According to Mr Luxon, the resulting cancellations and deferrals combined with a lack of certainty over a restart date knocked "customer confidence", leading to a reduction in forward bookings.

Mr Luxon added that Guernsey had also been expected to open its borders to quarantine-free travel in early September, but that this was now "improbable".

"As a consequence, we are reviewing the frequency of services for next month and may have to cancel sailings which will no longer be viable," he said.

The decision by Jersey to impose a minimum five-day quarantine on arrivals from France was also described as "a blow" that had led to a "drop in bookings and increase in cancellations".

He explained that the "unresolved disruption with the now redundant stevedores" in St Malo was also continuing to impact services, saying: "Due to a lack of cargo handling services it is currently not possible for our freight ship to dock there so our Saturday round trip remains suspended, as it has been for the past two months."

However, Mr Luxon noted: "Rapide continues to operate to Jersey and also supports Liberation weekly with a Saint Malo-Jersey-Poole round trip so passenger services are continuing which is a positive."

Concluding his email, he said: "Thank you for your patience, support and understanding over the past few months. We have tried to look after your needs with, at times, our hands tied behind our backs but look forward to serving you again, we hope, very soon."

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Posted by nigel pearce on
I think Condor have done well considering all the difficulties they have had to overcome. Hopefully these problems will soon disappear and the company will be able to give us a really good service into the future.
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