In an interview with Ouest France (in French), Brittany Ferries’ CEO Christophe Mathieu says he is very optimistic about the decision to open a new route between Cork and Santander.
“We believe in the potential, since Spain is the first holiday destination for the Irish. We had the idea to open the route since a long time. It is the Brexit that triggered the decision.
As from April the Stena RoRo chartered ro-pax CONNEMARA will offer Cork-Santander twice a week, and Cork-Roscoff once a week.
“The goal is to reach a balanced level as from day one.”
Why will the CONNEMARA sail under a foreign flag?
“We decided to have a European flag instead of the French, because we have to be very careful. We don’t know the effects of the Brexit in 3 or 4 years. One thing is sure: the Sterling has dropped considerably, which affects our revenue, which is in Sterling for 70%, while 80% of our costs are in euro.”
He adds that this does not affect the French crew and staff, some 2,400 in low season.
A new LNG ro-pax is under construction in Flensburg, and will be in service in the spring of 2019. “In the following years we’re going to invest in new tonnage,” says Christophe Mathieu. Last year Brittany Ferries announced that they will charter the third ro-pax under construction in China for Stena.