Brittany Ferries: summer passenger and freight figures (June – September)

By 27 October 20232023 Newsletter week 43
October 27, 2023

Passenger numbers (all markets): a return to growth.

2019= 1,259,587 pax (pre-Covid comparison year)

2022= 1,046,761 pax

2023= 1,090,254 pax

Freight numbers (all markets): a systemic downward trend.

2019= 59,057 freight units (pre-Covid comparison year)

2022= 50,868 freight units

2023= 48,114 freight units

Comments by Christophe Mathieu CEO Brittany Ferries

“These are encouraging passenger figures, reflecting our first post-Covid year operating all ships, from all ports. This year will deliver a positive economic result and our new ships lead the sector on comfort, accessibility, and lower emissions.”

 “While the majority of freight is carried outside the summer months, the summer trend for freight reflects an overall decline in volumes. This is particularly worrying on eastern Channel routes, where we have been hit by over-capacity on short sea routes such as Dover/Calais. The ensuing price war has led to a year-on-year decline of around 6%. That’s for services operating from our eastern ports of Le Havre, Caen, and Cherbourg. Compared with 2019, the figures are even more challenging, down by around 30%.”

Christophe Mathieu CEO Brittany Ferries

Positive Growth:

  • Roscoff-Cork Voyages: Twice-weekly return voyages between Roscoff and Cork have boosted passenger numbers during the summer.
  • France-Ireland Services: Overall, volumes on France-Ireland services have risen by 60% compared to 2019. Year-on-year (2023 vs. 2022) increase is 11%.
  • Rosslare-Bilbao Service: The service has reported significant growth, with 20,000 more travelers year-on-year. This represents a 155% increase, and it is attributed to a new cruise-ferry powered by cleaner LNG.

Success in Regional Development:

  • Bilbao-Rosslare Route: The gamble on this route has paid off, achieving its objectives. It contributes to regional development and environmental benefits, reducing the number of lorries on the roads and increasing car passengers on ferries.

Mixed Performance:

  • UK Routes to Brittany and Normandy: Year-on-year growth (2023 vs. 2022) reported, but numbers are still below pre-Covid 2019 figures. Brittany performed better with a 15% decline compared to a 25% decline for Normandy.
  • UK/Spain Routes: After growth last year, these routes returned to 2019 levels, showing a small increase. This achievement was accompanied by greater operational efficiency and reduced emissions, despite one less return sailing per week.

Overall, the data reflects a mix of positive growth and challenges in various routes and regions served by Brittany Ferries.

Brittany Ferries’ mantra: the competitive distortion, particularly on freight services offered on eastern ports of Cherbourg, Caen and Le Havre.