New Operating Agreement could help Condor to get a sweet new ride.

A 10-year Operating Agreement allowing Condor Ferries to continue to offer a passenger and freight link service between the UK, Channel Islands and France has been signed today. This agreement not only provides future stability on the vital sea route but enables Condor to make significant investment into the Island’s ferry services. As part of that investment, we could be seeing an upgrade from our cats ton impressive looking new trimaran.

The Agreement, which is non-exclusive, will see Condor commit to a range of performance measures, including service reliability targets and oversight of pricing. It was developed in partnership with the States of Guernsey together with independent economic advice.

The Agreement has been subject to the statutory Harbour Master consultation process. In addition, as part of reviewing the company’s recovery procedures, the Harbour Master commissioned a review of Condor’s response to recover services following the Clipper incident on 14 July 2014. This concluded that Condor took adequate recovery measures in the interests of the Islands, to regain its freight and passenger service capabilities as fast as possible. Furthermore, that the provisions within the Operating Agreement would improve the Island’s insight, control, resilience and contingency planning in the future.

Separately, at the Harbour Master’s request, Condor has provided insight into its Clipper recovery operation, specifically covering EU passenger rights, freight handling, special Funfair shipments and its customer service call centre report. All of which demonstrate the high degree of effort and attention Condor placed on keeping the Island connected.

Condor Ferries CEO, James Fulford, said:
“We are delighted to have been successful in our application for a new ramp permit and, now that that new Operating Agreement has been signed, we can progress with our plans to invest in a new state-of-the-art high speed ferry, the Austal 102 which will offer increased reliability, capacity and comfort… As part of the new Operating Agreement, we have made significant performance commitments to our Islands. These will ensure a high level of service including reliability measures, a full year-round schedule of sailings to the UK and France, for freight & passengers, and oversight to ensure long term certainty and affordability of ticket prices. In addition, the States of Jersey and Guernsey have required, and we have agreed, that the licence would also allow other operators to come into the market, so long as they match the ‘full service’ Condor offers. We are proud and privileged to have served our Islands for fifty years and look forward to doing so for many more years to come.”

We just hope they get the Austel 102 because it looks like something from an oligarch’s shopping channel.