Industrial action and bad weather hit Condor sailings again

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Fast ferries between the Island and the UK and St Malo were cancelled on Friday because of the weather, while conventional vessels the Commodore Clipper and Commodore Goodwill were both delayed because of the conditions.

On Saturday, sailings were due to return to normal on all routes, with additional sailings scheduled between Poole and the Channel Islands and St Malo and Jersey for the Liberation and Rapide respectively. The Rapide is then due to go into dry dock as planned.

However, by Sunday the disruption is due to return, with the afternoon sailing of the Liberation between St Malo and Jersey cancelled because of the ongoing discussions between stevedores in St Malo and SMM, the stevedoring company based at the French port which provides both freight and passenger services.

The industrial action follows similar protests in November and December.

The weather on Sunday is also forecast to be stormy, with wave heights of up to four metres and winds gusting to 56 mph mid-Channel. The Clipper is not due to sail that day but an afternoon sailing of the Commodore Goodwill to the Channel Islands is scheduled.

Condor chief executive Paul Luxon said: ‘We are dismayed that these factors, which are beyond our control, are once again disrupting passengers and freight customers’ shipments and we understand they will naturally be very disappointed. As Islanders, we have all seen the damage caused by Storm Eleanor this week and I know that the impact has been felt both in St Malo and on the English south coast too.

‘Condor Ferries is determined to minimise the effect these challenges have on passengers’ travel plans and our freight customers’ cargo shipments.

‘Commodore Clipper and Commodore Goodwill are both operating between the Channel Islands and the UK in very high seas and windy conditions in ports to keep the islands connected and supplied. Both ships, unsurprisingly, picked up delays due to the adverse weather conditions throughout the past week.’

SMM – St Malo Manutention – has five shareholders, Bolloré Ports, Brittany Ferries, L’Agence Maritime Malouine, Morvan Fils and Timac, which all hold 20 per cent of the shares. Morvan Fils is a sister company of Condor Ferries and part of the Condor Group.

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