John Napton said that with relaxation in travel controls in the UK and France, as well as the islands, the company was hoping for a boost in business after two difficult years of trading due to the pandemic.
‘We are seeing a surge of interest in sea travel, particularly to Jersey and Guernsey from the UK, and encouragingly also to France. We hope that the opening of borders will boost confidence among the public to travel freely and safely by ferry,’ he said.
This season Condor will be able to carry 400 cars and 1,600 passengers from the UK to the islands. Sailings are mainly focused around weekends, when, Condor said, it has learned that most people want to travel.
‘We hope this replicates the significant demand for travel that we saw in August and September last year, something we wouldn’t have been able to accommodate in previous years.’
A new twice-weekly high-speed service between Guernsey and Cherbourg is intended to complement sailings to St Malo.
Mr Napton praised Condor’s teams on-board and ashore for helping steer the company through two difficult Covid summers. He said that in ‘incredibly challenging circumstances’ the company provided 706 days of uninterrupted freight services.
Support for Ukraine
CONDOR is looking to support a number of Ukrainian nationals working on its conventional ferries.
‘During this very unsettling period, we are offering as much care and assistance as necessary to those affected,’ said chief executive John Napton.
‘This includes providing emotional support, keeping positions open for those who opt to return home, and starting a company-wide JustGiving donation scheme.’
The company has also waived fares and freight charges between Guernsey, Jersey and St Malo for vehicles and passengers travelling with donated food, medical and other provisions to help those in Eastern Europe.
More than 250 tonnes of humanitarian aid donated by islanders has travelled to France and onwards in the past few weeks.