DFDS sells Irish Sea routes to Stena

DFDS has lost more than €30m on its Irish routes in the last two years. DFDS has lost more than €30m on its Irish routes in the last two years.
Industry Database

DFDS has sold DFDS Seaways Irish Sea Ferries Limited, including two routes in the northern part of the Irish Sea, to Stena Line.

The sale announced today covers the routes between Belfast and Birkenhead (Liverpool), and Belfast-Heysham. The two ro-ro vessels Hibernia Seaways and Scotia Seaways and two chartered ro-pax vessels are included in the transaction.

Stena Line will also take over operations at the port terminals of Belfast, Birkenhead and Heysham. With a few exceptions, all shore based staff at Belfast, Birkenhead and Heysham will be transferred to Stena, maintaining their current conditions. DFDS and Stena Line will share staff at these locations during an agreed transitional period at the end of which DFDS will establish their own agency operations at Birkenhead and Heysham.

Niels Smedegaard, CEO of DFDS said, ‘The Irish routes we took over in conjunction with the purchase of Norfolkline have, in spite of the recent impressive efforts by everyone employed on the routes, in the last two years lost more than €30m. Given the depressed economies, a turnaround of the activities, without structural solutions, is not realistic. On this basis, we have decided to scale back our activities and sell the two routes to and from Belfast.’

DFDS will now focus on our ferry services from Dublin to Birkenhead and from Dublin to Heysham. These routes will be serviced by the present vessels, Liverpool Seaways and Dublin Seaways, on the Birkenhead route and Anglia Seaways on the Heysham route.

The terminal and agency operations at Dublin are not affected by this transaction and DFDS will continue with its strategic and operational review of the Dublin routes. This work is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2011.

‘We thank every staff member at the northern routes warmly for the hard work done, and wish all staff that have changed to Stena Line all the best in the future. Also I would like to thank customers on the routes to and from Belfast for the loyalty and support which they have shown towards DFDS’, concluded Niels Smedegaard.



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