Brexit un­cer­tainty hits Brit­tany Fer­ries’ book­ings

The Malta Business Weekly - - INTERNATIONAL -

UK hol­i­day­mak­ers are de­lay­ing book­ing Chan­nel cross­ings for next sum­mer amid con­cerns about the con­se­quences of Brexit, Brit­tany Fer­ries has said.

For­ward book­ings were down be­tween 4% and 5% from some of its reg­u­lar cus­tomers, the com­pany said.

Nigel Won­na­cott from Brit­tany Fer­ries said peo­ple were wor­ried about the im­pact on ar­eas such as pet travel, health in­sur­ance and driv­ing li­cences.

The de­cline was "rais­ing the red flag", he said.

Falls in for­ward book­ings was af­fect­ing Brit­tany Fer­ries' cash­flow, Mr Won­na­cott said, and raised con­cerns about whether it would be able to fill its 10 fer­ries.

It will take de­liv­ery next year of a new ves­sel for the Portsmouth to Caen route, which ac­counts for about 30% of its traf­fic, that has ca­pac­ity for up to 1,700 pas­sen­gers.

Christophe Math­ieu, the com­pany's chief ex­ec­u­tive, said: "Two more ships will fol­low as part of our €450m in­vest­ment in the fu­ture. But we need to make sure we have pas­sen­gers and freight to fill these new ships."

"We know that un­cer­tainty and in­sta­bil­ity in the UK will have con­se­quences on both sides of the chan­nel," he said. "A poor [Brexit] deal, or per­haps no deal at all, could im­pact Brit­tany, Nor­mandy and the Loire."

Re­search from Abta, the trade body for tour op­er­a­tors and travel agents, found that 43% of peo­ple are con­fused about how Brexit will af­fect travel ar­range­ments, up from 36% last year, while al­most half (48%) fear it will make it harder to travel to the con­ti­nent.

"As we head to­wards the peak hol­i­day book­ing pe­riod, there is still a lack of cer­tainty about what will hap­pen when we leave the EU ... we en­cour­age both sides to take a prag­matic ap­proach to get­ting a deal done," an Abta spokesper­son said.

De­spite the con­cerns about Brexit, pack­age hol­i­day book­ings for Eu­ro­pean des­ti­na­tions next sum­mer were 14% higher than at the same point last year, the as­so­ci­a­tion added.

A spokesper­son for Euro­tun­nel, which op­er­ates Le Shut­tle ser­vices be­tween Folke­stone and Calais, said "book­ings are strong go­ing for­ward".

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.