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SeaFrance problems won't stop ferries

Ferry operator says passenger bookings are safe as the loss-making company enters bankruptcy protection

SEAFRANCE says it will continue operating a normal ferry service throughout the summer and bookings are safe, despite entering bankruptcy protection.

The loss-making cross-Channel ferry provider has called in administrators to tackle its debts, but the company says passengers should notice no difference.

A senior company source told The Connexion: "We're not in the waiting room, preparing for the end – the administrators are working to ensure our survival.

"People who have reserved or who are planning to reserve have nothing to worry about. It should have no effect on crossings."

SeaFrance filed for bankruptcy protection last month, allowing it to legally suspend some of its debt repayments to get the company back on track.

The firm, which is wholly owned by French rail operator SNCF, is losing about €100,000 a day.

A separate criminal investigation has been launched into suspected fraud after auditors found some discrepancies relating to on-board shops and restaurants.

The company is in ongoing talks with trade unions in the hope of avoiding further strikes.

Crossings over the Easter holiday, traditionally the firm’s busiest period, were disrupted by a five-day walkout which lost SeaFrance an estimated €1.25m and affected thousands of passengers.

According to Le Figaro, cross-Channel passenger ferry traffic has fallen by almost a third in 10 years.

The last casualty was SpeedFerries, which closed in November 2008 after administrators failed to find a buyer.

Related stories:
SeaFrance in troubled waters
SNCF to bail out SeaFrance
SeaFrance ferry back to normal after strike

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