Monday 5 November 2018 3:50 pm

Brittany Ferries boss issues Brexit warning over falling advance bookings

Families are hesitating to book ferry travel in advance due to uncertainty surrounding the UK’s departure from the European Union, the chief executive of Brittany Ferries Christophe Mathieu warned today.

The business, which operates from Portsmouth, Poole and Plymouth, reported that bookings for next year are already showing a “worrying” downward trend despite a two per cent rise in passenger numbers between July and September this year.

“While the summer period saw an encouraging rise in passenger traffic, we cannot afford to be complacent,” Mathieu said. “85 per cent of our passengers are British holiday makers visiting key regions in France and northern Spain.

“And we know that uncertainty and instability in the UK will have consequences on both sides of the channel.”

He added: “Family bookings for next summer already show a worrying downward trend, so today we sound the alarm.

"A poor deal, or perhaps no deal at all, could impact Brittany, Normandy and the Loire, regions that have benefited directly from the links we have established and the demand we have grown for Brits travelling overseas over the last 45 years.”

Freight travel was down by five per cent in the third quarter of the year compared to the same period the previous year, the company reported today.

The best performing passenger route was between Cork and Roscoff, for which passenger traffic grew by nine per cent, reflecting additional capacity on the route.