Just when all hope appeared lost, Norwegian Seaways names a date for the resumption of ferry services between the UK and Scandinavia.
Also, more air quality alerts in Paris. Another setback for MyFerryLink. Petrol prices rise in Luxembourg.
NORWEGIAN SEAWAYS TO LAUNCH MARCH 2016
Says market conditions have changed.
Norwegian Seaways has set a date for the resumption of ferry services between the UK and Scandinavia.
In what is presumably a reference to falling fuel prices, the company says the market conditions have changed. It expects to finalise funding in the spring ahead of a brand launch in September and the start of services – likely between Newcastle, Bergen and Stavanger – the following March.
In a statement via the International Campaign for the Ferry to Norway (ICFN), Norwegian Seaways operations director Paul Woodbury says, ‘In 2014 we had a viable plan. We now have an even more viable plan given the change in market conditions. We have overhauled our business plan and are finalising our strategy with the intent of securing final funding in the spring of this year for launch of a new brand in September 2015 and a new service in March 2016.’
ICFN adds, ‘This latest statement from Norwegian Seaways follows a string of recent positive developments which tend to show that Norwegian Seaways’ cautious and meticulous approach in its efforts to restore the UK – Norway ferry service over the years is about to pay dividends… although the statement is brief, the message it conveys will be welcome news for thousands of travellers across the UK and throughout Scandinavia.’
The final UK-Scandinavia ferry service, operated by DFDS between Harwich and Esbjerg, Denmark, was withdrawn last September. Norwegian Seaways first emerged as a potential operator in November 2013. In the meantime Regina Lines’ proposed replacement Harwich-Esbjerg service has, apparently, failed to get off the ground.
At debate in the Scottish Parliament on ferry links to Scandinavia earlier this month, transport minister Derek Mackay said the government supported the idea but any help is could offer would be ‘limited’.
roundup: FRANCE. Paris air quality observer Airparif says pollutant levels are expected to reach 77/100 tomorrow, well over the threshold of 50/100 which triggers abatement measures. Expect reduced speed limits at the very least. CROSSING THE CHANNEL. The ‘SCOP’ workers co-operative at MyFerryLink had their application for appeal against the recent Eurotunnel II ruling unanimously rejected by the Competition Appeal Tribunal yesterday. The last hope for the Dover-Calais operator, and its employees, is to be sold as a going concern. LUXEMBOURG. The (nationally regulated) price of petrol has actually increased today after months of falls. Unleaded 95 now costs €1.076/l and unleaded 98 €1.14 says Wort.lu. Diesel stays the same, at €0.963, for now.