Once again things are hotting up news wise on the Channel crossing this week! The opening of the Dover to Calais route last month by DFDS and partner ferry operator LD Lines has been so successful that capacity is going to be increased even further!
DFDS and LD Lines announced that their new ferry to France, Dover to Calais route would be doubled in capacity going from their five current sailings to ten trips across the Channel from each port every day! They will be chartering The Bafleur ship from Brittany ferries and the new sailings will be starting on the 27th April 2012. Doubling the frequency of the service will of course result in more choice for passengers and more convenient sailing times.
In total the DFDS and LD Lines route to France have provided jobs for 300 people which is great news considering the job losses caused by the collapse of SeaFrance earlier in the year.
In addition to the increase in capacity on the Dover to Calais route, DFDS is also increasing capacity and potential routes in other ways. A new deal is resulting in DFDS acquiring four of the ships and three routes from the French ferry operator Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA) and is expected to bring a new lease of competition to the industry which of course will ultimately benefit the ferry users and workers in the industry.
This deal between DFDS and LDA will create a new venture with DFDS having a majority 82% stake and will prove strong competition for Eurotunnel who are also looking to purchase some of SeaFrance’s ships to take a share of the Channel crossing ferry market. And this is a deal which is not looking too promising at the minute due to P&O’s recent threats of reporting the potential deal to the on the grounds of competition to the European Commission.
The new venture is expected to start in July and will be operating five routes across nine ships and two of these are on the Dover to Calais crossing as well as a Marseille to Tunis route, DFDS’s first return to Mediterranean crossings since the 1980’s.