Islanders will be aware of operational problems that have arisen again with the Condor Liberation in recent days. Whilst delays and cancellations earlier in the week were weather-related, today’s cancellations are as a result of technical problems with the vessel. I have included below an update from Condor Ferries received on Saturday 19th September 2015 at 1430hrs. The situation is exacerbated by the absence of the Ro-Pax conventional Ferry, the Condor Clipper, which is in dry dock to allow fitting of exhaust scrubbers to comply with EU emissions regulations.

Clearly the situation is unacceptable. Whilst Condor have instigated an element of contingency, the disruption to car and passenger services during what is a busy month for visitor’s and resident’s travel to and from the UK has been significant.

I also wanted to let members of the public know that I am examining the Operating Agreement signed with Condor in 2014 to establish what remedies the States may have. As a minimum, in consultation with Guernsey’s Commerce and Employment Minister, I will insist that the Comprehensive Service Review, aimed at defining the medium to long term make-up of car, passenger and freight services, scheduled for completion in early 2017, is advanced and should commence with immediate effect.

Finally, should members of the public wish to contact contact Condor directly, their customer service details are: UK Tel – 01202 207216 Jersey – 01534 872240 customer.services@condorferries.co.uk

Condor Ferries update – 1430 hours 19th September 2015

Summary

Repairs are underway to a fault discovered last night with Condor Liberation’s exhaust systems. Although one sailing was cancelled earlier today, Condor Liberation is now able to sail, although she will be operating slower than usual.

As a result, this weekend we will operate a modified timetable for both Condor Rapide and Condor Liberation to ensure that the overwhelming majority of our customers can reach their destination, even if it is at a different time or on a different ship.

Our engineers, port teams and support staff are working around the clock to minimise disruption to passengers. We’d also like to thank our crews who will work extra hours this weekend.

Saturday 19th 1430 hrs: Following extensive repair work by our engineers and contractors, we are planning to operate Condor Liberation tomorrow, Sunday 20 September. As it is possible that Condor Liberation will operate at reduced speed, she will sail from Poole straight to Jersey, then north to Guernsey and back to Poole. Travel from Guernsey to Jersey will be via Condor Rapide.

Two services are also planned for Monday 21 September, an early morning direct service from Poole to Guernsey and back, followed by an afternoon service from Poole direct to Jersey and back.

The sailing on Tuesday 22 September will be cancelled for further engineering work. It is hoped to resume a normal service on Wednesday 23 September. All schedules will be reviewed on a daily basis with regular updates provided on line, via text and email.

We still need to free up as much capacity as possible for customers whose journeys are vital.

· Daytrips have already been cancelled and customers will be able to rebook at a later date at no extra cost, or can receive a full refund.

· We are also asking all other customers booked to travel between now and Wednesday 23 September and whose journey is not essential, to cancel their booking. To cancel, please do not phone us – demand on our phonelines is exceptionally high. Instead, please email customer.services@condorferries.co.uk with the subject line “CANCEL” quoting your booking reference. Your email will be acknowledged and a full refund will be given. As a gesture of appreciation, all (non daytrip) customers who cancel their booking will receive a £50 travel voucher.

Wherever possible, we are putting in place alternative travel via Brittany Ferries and Condor Rapide for those customers whose journeys have already been disrupted. Customers who wish to rearrange their travel should contact our reservations or port teams in the usual way. Inevitably phone lines and ports will be exceptionally busy and we have called in all available staff.

We would like to thank our customers for their extraordinary patience in these exceptional circumstances.

 

7 Responses to Condor, the Liberation and what action I propose to take.

  1. Alison Moullin says:

    Whilst I appreciate you are looking at the SOJ and Condor agreement, rumours are abound that Condor is putting the Liberation in dry dock next week for essential works. If this happens with the Clipper still in dry dock we will have no service what so ever. Whilst I note in the Guernsey Press that Condor state they cannot have a vessel on standby, and I appreciate the costs etc involved, they could have contracted with a number of companies such as brittany ferries who have vessel which is currently being wintered in Dunkirk (sister ship of the vitesse) which I am sure they could have leased in the interim period. If this was not available then I am sure there are others which if I look hard enough could have been chartered. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise the reputational risks to both islands as well as the loss of tourism. Each and every time Condor goes out of action, apart from the weather there appears to be an excuse as to why its not their fault. Due to these excuses this means that people cannot claim for the time delays….this in itself needs looking at. The last excuse was due to passengers at Poole, that she sailed halve empty, leaving loads of people behind….but when you read between the lines, it was in fact that she had run out of time due to Jersey tidal restrictions. Had she not been running late / delayed due to technical problems in the first place there would be no issues. But because they have declared the delay is due to events out of their control rather than technical, people are struggling to seek compensation. What will their next excuse be… watch this space

  2. Steve Hobbs says:

    As i’m sure you’ve read the contract between SOJ and Condor, how can you say are they in breach of contract, when they said if they replaced one boat for two, it would sail in rougher weather and it would be faster. Well it can’t sail in rougher weather and it’s not faster than the old boats. The whole history of this boat and condor buying it stinks. If you read some of the more knowledgeable posts on https://www.facebook.com/groups/1572986602954065/
    You’ll have all the answers. Myself personally have used Condor for the last 7 years for motorsport purposes and have had a lot of bother whether substantial price increases when the company was up for sale 3 years ago to cancellations. I have been on the new boat 3 times so far and every crossing was a pleasant crossing apart from the strange swaying and that was in calm weather, In conclusion the boat is not the correct vessel for our waters, we need a conventional ferry service that goes in all weathers not just when it’s calm

  3. Mark Daniel says:

    Hi
    Just returned on the liberation this evening would it be possible to catch up for a chat so I can tell you about my experience I’ve had since Tuesday last and what I think of the ship as I am a local charter skipper and delivery skipper please email me for my mobile number if you would like to catch up I’m off work tomorrow if that helps.

    Reds Mark Daniel

    • Lyndon-Farnham says:

      Mark, yes certainly but as States are sitting tomorrow and possibly Wednesday I may not be able to catch up with you until Thursday or Friday. My contact numbers are 485107 and 07797 714222. KR, Lyndon.

  4. Mike Etienne says:

    I hope this is not the usual ‘Blah Blah’ that we have come to expect from our elected representatives. We all know that Condor offer a sub standard service for over inflated prices. I have had e-mail exchanges with Condor to this effect and their answers are, at best, completely unsatisfactory. Why do you, Sir, allow a monopoly in such an important area. And why do you not have the courtesy to at least acknowledge correspondence addressed to you in this respect. I sincerely hope that your words will result in a new strategy of service provider to satisfy the needs of the Channel Island residents who Condor ostensibly serve.

    Sincerely

    Mike Etienne

    • Lyndon-Farnham says:

      Mike, I’m sorry that your are cynical but understand given the circumstances. By the way, I always try to reply to correspondence. If I missed one then I apologise. You did copy me in on an email to Condor (and several others including the media) in June of this year in relation to an increase in fares for motorcycles. Did you receive a response from Condor?

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