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MV Arrow contingency claims dubbed "fake news"

MV Arrow contingency claims dubbed

Thursday 04 January 2024

MV Arrow contingency claims dubbed "fake news"

Thursday 04 January 2024

A claim that the MV Arrow has been made available to the governments of Jersey and Guernsey has been dubbed "fake news" by the company that owns the ship.

Earlier this week, it was reported that the ship had been made available to the Channel Islands governments to get supplies on and off both island amid ongoing ferry cancellations.

However, the Managing Director of Steam Packet Company – the Isle of Man firm that owns the MV Arrow – said in an interview that the claim was "fake news". 

Speaking to ManxRadio, Brian Thompson said there was "absolutely no truth" in the rumour 

Both governments said: "We are aware of the MV Arrow, given its past role serving as a contingency vessel for Condor from time to time."

A States of Guernsey spokesperson added: "We have a memorandum of understanding with Condor Ferries for sea connectivity and remain vigilant in safeguarding our supply chain."

The MV Arrow is currently being used to service the Isle of Man.

It used to be a ship Condor utilised as a back-up vessel and serviced the Channel Islands multiple times, including to increase freight capacity ahead of Christmas 2022.

The Arrow can carry 66 14m (46ft) trailers and accommodate 12 passengers.

Last month, it emerged that Jersey and Guernsey's governments had jointly commissioned berthing trials of another large cargo ship.

The 163-metre long DFDS Finlandia Seaways was in Jersey's waters for two days of testing in mid-December.


Pictured: Jersey and Guernsey's governments jointly commissioned berthing trials of the 163-metre long DFDS Finlandia Seaways in December.

Ports of Jersey said that the exercise – which disrupted Condor's sailings – was arranged by the Government of Jersey "as part of ongoing testing of contingency plans for a number of possible risks, of which supply links form a key part".

The trials came as Condor and both islands batted away rumours about the future of the service provider. 

The ferry firm has recently come under fire for its proposed freight fees hike of around 19% from the start of 2024.

Following the controversy, Condor announced that it was working to resolve a “temporary but challenging time”. 

It confirmed that it wasn’t going into administration, but declined to comment when asked if it was seeking additional funding from Jersey or Guernsey.

The ferry operator's current operational agreement – signed with Jersey’s Harbourmaster in 2014 – is up for review. In essence, it gave the company an exclusive ramp licence to run Roll-on, Roll-off services in return for a guaranteed level of service, including types of vessels, pricing and timetables.

The decade-long agreement does not prohibit other operators entering the market, but they would have to provide the same level of service as that set out in its 80 pages – setting a high barrier to overcome.

The current 10-year deal between the Government and Condor is in its ‘winding down’ phase, with a new agreement on such matters as capacity and frequency due to be signed before July 2025.


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