Freight News, Sea

LD Lines to enter UK/Spain market

[ October 24, 2013   //   ]

French ferry operator LD Lines is to introduce a new freight and passenger service between Poole and Santander in Northern Spain from 3 November.

LD Lines, which already runs a service from Saint Nazaire, south of Brittany and Gijón in Northern Spain, described it as a major development in the creation of an Atlantic ferry network. There will be two return sailings a week with a crossing time of 26 hours. Departing Poole on Saturday at 11.30am and Tuesday at 12 noon. Return from Santander will by Sunday at 18.00 and Thursday at 12 noon.

The route will be operated by the Norman Asturias with capacity for up to 110 freight vehicles, 500 passengers and 200 cars. She is currently operating LD Lines’ Saint Nazaire to Gijón route will be replaced by her sister ship, the Scintu.

LD Lines’ chief executive officer Christophe Santoni said the freight market would benefit by avoiding France’s weekend traffic ban and the planned implementation of the Ecotax for trucks from 1 January 2014.

In an interview with FBJ, Santoni added that the plan was to evenutally integrate the new UK/Spain service with the existing Saint Nazaire to Gijón route. This would probably see a direct weekly UK/ Gijón link added. He said: “We believe this would be the first direct ro ro link to Gijón from the UK, which is attractive not only for Spain but also the Portuguese market.”

Theannouncement of the new LD Lines service follows Brittany Ferries withdrawal of its weekend Poole-Santander freighter service din September. While this was helpful in reducing overcapacity on the route, it was not the main driver for LD Lines’ decision to enter the market, said Santoni.

Norman Asturias resized

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