DFDS Seaways moots Portsmouth-Le Havre route closure

DFDS Seaways moots Portsmouth-Le Havre route closure

DFDS Seaways has announced that it is entering a period of consultation on the viability of its Portsmouth to Le Havre service.

The announcement follows a meeting with its union representatives in the Extraordinary Works Council in France.

DFDS Seaways France took over the Portsmouth-Le Havre service in 2012 as part of its joint-venture with LD Lines.

Both LD Lines and DFDS Seaways France have consistently recorded heavy financial losses on this service since 2005.

DFDS has worked hard to cut costs on the route to make it more competitive, including replacing the Norman Voyager ship with a smaller vessel, whose capacity is more in line with the size of the market, as well as a series of sales and marketing initiatives designed to grow the potential customer base.

Unfortunately, the service has remained economically unsustainable, which is why DFDS Seaways France has instigated a period of consultation in France.

Passenger and freight customers currently booked onto the service will not be affected by this process, and all bookings that have been made will be honoured.

Should the Portsmouth-Le Havre service close, the Seven Sisters ship and its crew, which currently operate the route on charter from the Seine Maritime Conseil General 76 as an annexe service, would return to the ship’s owner.