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Battle Joined on Irish Sea

Low cost airlines such as Ryanair and Aer Lingus are set to be squeezed out of the key Dublin - Liverpool corridor by lower-cost fast ferries. The man behind the prediction, Andy Boardman, says his claim stacks up because of the high mandatory taxes airlines must charge.

“You could travel to Dublin and back with Irish Sea on the taxes you pay on a return trip from John Lennon Airport and still have change,” said Andy, chief executive of Irish Sea, which operates fast ferries twice a day from Liverpool to Dublin.

“Consumers won’t put up with that for very long now that they have a choice,” he predicted.

Since launching in April the company has seen increased passenger numbers with customer feedback firmly positioning low booking lead in times and the comfort of ferry travel as the main reasons for choosing the service.

And, says Mr. Boardman, the choice becomes even starker when you factor in city centre to city centre travel times.


“Journey times are almost identical from Liverpool city centre to O’Connell Bridge whether you travel using our vessel or via John Lennon Airport. The difference is that our passengers have their feet up on a luxury fast ferry most of the time, rather than kicking their heels in the airport or crawling down the Drumcondra Road in Dublin’s legendary gridlock.

The Liverpool-based ferry operation charges a flat £20 return fee for foot passengers, with no taxes or booking charges when booked at  Ferries dock just a mile and a half from O’Connell Bridge, against the nine miles to Dublin airport and journey time is a little under four hours.