SkyscraperCity banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,457 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DFDS Seaways axes Newcastle-Bergen route

Craig Eason - Tuesday 27 May 2008

The Queen of Scandinavia was brought into the route in 2006.

DFDS Seaways is to axe its Newcastle to Bergen route, resulting in 340 job losses.

The Danish ferry operator has blamed an “unsatisfactory trend” over the preceding years caused by low cost airlines and rising fuel prices.

The route closure is part of a strategic review of the company’s business and according to chief executive, Niels Smedegaard, it comes after years of struggling to make the route profitable.

“We have done everything humanly possible to turn it around, we have swapped ships, changed concepts, but we have to recognize the lack of passengers throughout the year and the bunker prices. It is impossible to turn it into a viable business,” he said.

“We have to throw in the towel now and focus on the remaining part of the business which has also been under pressure for the last eight years, and this is why we are undertaking this operational review, looking at routes, activities and processes.”

First quarter figures for DFDS group were disappointing with operating profit DKr3m in the red compared to a profit of DKr45 in the same period last year, which gave net losses of DKr65m ($13.7m).

According to a statement issued today 270 crew from the Queen of Scandanavia will be laid off in the move. But as well as the shipboard job losses, the company’s assessment of its business is resulting in 70 job losses in Norway, UK and Denmark in the first phase of a recovery plan.

The second phase will now see the company assess its remaining passenger routes which include Newcastle and Amsterdam, Harwich and Esbjerg and the route between Oslo and Copenhagen, and how best to deploy the new ro-pax and dedicated ro-ro tonnage it will take possession of over the coming two years.

Although the company has seen a slight improvement in its mini cruise operations between Oslo and Copenhagen, the sector has been in steady decline

“It is overall a challenging environment we are in, and this is why we are trying to reduce the overheads and trim the organisation. We will talk with the unions to discuss further flexibility. We have to reduce costs and improve profitability,” said Mr Smedegaard.

The Queen of Scandinavia will continue to operate on the Newcastle to Bergen route until September 1 when it will either be sold or chartered out.

:eek:hno:

A sad, sad day in the maritime history of the Tyne. i wonder how the traditional links with Norway will hold up. Loads of them come over for shopping trips to Newcastle as goods are generally cheaper here, the city's Christmas tree is donated from the people of Bergen every year, a number of norweigan offshore firms have opened up shop on the river in recent years etc. i know cheap airlines do the Stavanger route but it is different when you can't take your car. it leaves Bergen and Haugesand without any transport links to Newcastle which considering the relations built up over the decades is a disaster. hopefully another operator will step in, or, at the least, an airline will begin to fly from Bergen.

it's also environmentally damaging when you consider that the Ferry has a tiny carbon footprint and the plane a huge one.
 

·
Letting off the happiness
Joined
·
5,855 Posts
I couldnt agree more, met many Norwegians in Newcastle over the years who were here on the ferry, went over myself to Bergen 3/4 years ago and it was packed (mainly Norwegians rather then Brits but still) a disaster for the region IMO.
 

·
Wired
Joined
·
3,175 Posts
Not good news for York, either. We get quite a few Norwegians coming down from Newcastle to spend their money here.

It is a shame. I've got an old 1960s AA Book of the Road somewhere, which shows ferry routes going from many locations in Britain. In those days, you could even go to Scandinavia from Goole, of all places!

From an environmental point of view, we've been going in the wrong direction for some time.
 
G

·
Massive blow to the North East, DFDS has been a good friend to the region.

Fingers crossed the Amsterdam route doesn't suffer the same fate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,691 Posts
Jet2 fly to Bergen from Newcastle- and the tickets are fairly cheap- maybe this contributed to the demise of the ferry- when I have looked it wasnt cheap to get yourself and a car onto the ferry , and if you werent bringing your car over would you prefer 24hours on the extremely choppy North Sea or an hour on a plane? There are also two carriers that fly to Stavanger now and also a daily flight to Copenhagen from Newcastle so you could say the Scandanavia are fairly well served out of the North East. But God knows how the city will get its xmas tree over now!!!

It is terrible though for the Tyne's martime history espeically as you consider the North Sheilds fishing industry is on its knees- its tiny compared to a few years ago and the cost of oil now makes it impossible to make a living out of fishing out of the Tyne- plus the ship building has gone and the cranes from Wallsend- a symbol of Tyneside for years are being taken down and sent to India.
 
G

·
Might be worth seeking an EU subsidy considering the wide benefits the service brings?

Unfortuantley for DFDS those benefits don't show up on the balance sheet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,066 Posts
And would the EU be willing to subsidise something which benefits Norway, rather than two member countries?
 
G

·
Don't know but it's got to be worth a try, it's an economically important service for one of the EU's under-developed regions.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top