La Mériodionale: Now Hoping For The Two Remaining Ports, Focussing On The Next 10-Year Long DSP

By | 2019 Newsletter week 27 | No Comments

Based in Ajaccio, the Corsican Assembly (L’Assemblée de Corse) is the unicameral legislative body of the territorial collectivity of Corsica. Last week, on 27 June, it took the decision concerning the attribution of the DSP (delegation of public service) for the five ferry lifelines between Marseille and Corsica.

  • The contracts for Bastia, Ajaccio and Ile Rousse have been given to Corsica Linea.
  • The tender for Propriano and Porto-Vecchio has been declared unsuccessful and needs another decision. A new tender procedure for these two smaller ports will be started imminently. Either La Mériodionale could get these, or Corsica Linea. In the latter case, Corsica Linea would have a monopoly position on the DSP.

So far, it means that La Meridionale does not have any DSP-subsidised route. That’s why they were on strike for several days. However, the strike ended as a possible partnership with Corsica Linea is in the making. The actual DSP starts in October, and is only for 15 months. It is a test to redefine the needs of the customers. The next DSP will be for a duration of 10 years. La Meridionale wants to make sure not jeopardise any chance of participating at this decade-long DSP, eventually by partnering up with the company with the red ferries.

Corsica Linea to charter Grimaldi Ro-Pax

By | 2018 Newsletter Week 17 | No Comments

o charter Grimaldi Ro-Pax

French company Corsica Linea has agreed to charter the Grimaldi Lines’ ro-pax EUROFERRY CORFU, better know as the 1999-built FINNEAGLE.The vessel will start to operate on Marseille – Sardinia – Tunisia – Algeria as from mid June. The charter is for five years.

In 2017 Corsica Linea transported 568,000 passengers and 1.1 million lane metres of freight, which is a huge increase compared to the year before.Already 200,000 pax have been counted on the Maghreb routes. With the extra vessel the company wants to grab the opportunity to increase this number.

According to French TV France 3 (on YouTube) Corsica Linea seems to have approached La Meridionale, with an offer to merge the two companies. However La Meridionale’s CEO Francis Lemor (Groupe STEF, owner of La Meridionale) said the company is not.


By | 2018 Newsletter Week 17 | No Comments

Delay For Corsica’s Own Regional Ferry Company

Corsica had the intention to start its own regional ferry company. The idea was to acquire two former SNCM ferries, PAGLIA ORBA and MONTE D’ORO.

On April 25 it was decided not to acquire these two ferries, because they would not respect the environmental rules in 2020. Acquiring the would create a financial risk, is the conclusion.

Source: France 3 (in French)

Photo: Mike Louagie

The Corsican Community Will Have To Pay Compensation To Corsica Ferries

By | 2018 Newsletter week 08 | No Comments

The Marseille Administrative Court of Appeal upheld the judgment of 23 February 2017, recognizing the injury of Corsica Ferries, reports Corse Net Infos (in French).
The subject of the dispute was the aid paid between 2007 and 2013 to the former SNCM and the CMN.
On February 23, 2017, the Bastia Administrative Court had ordered the Collectivité de Corse (CTC) to pay € 84.3 million to Corsica Ferries in compensation for the damage caused by the payment of subsidies. This aid, considered illegal, made it possible to provide an additional service for the transport of passengers during peak periods within the framework of the DSP (Delegation of public service).
Corsica Ferries, then, seized the European Commission and obtained, in April 2016, the cancellation of the DSP.
In a judgment delivered on February 15, the Administrative Court of Appeal of Marseille confirms the payment of indemnities.
Satisfied with the judgment, Pierre Mattei, CEO of Corsica Ferries, sees two mistakes committed by the CTC.
1) Illegal subsidies in 2007.
2) In 2013, when it did nothing to recover the € 220 million in illegal aid received by SNCM that should have paid back.
It will now be a question of precisely assessing this damage. The CTC already announced to accept the verdict.

More passengers and more freight for Corsica in 2017

By | 2018 Newsletter week 06 | No Comments
  • ORTC (Observatoire Régional des Transports de la Corse) published the first statistics for the year 2017. Some highlights:
  • Total of ferry passengers: 4,144,614 (+2.1%)
  • Total of airborne passengers: 4,025,727 (+9.7%) from which 241,744 came with low-cost flights.
  • Several ports, both in Corsica and on the Continent saw a progression in passenger traffic. Ajaccio +5%, Bastia +2%, Marseille +8% (but Nice -9%), Genoa +14%.
  • The ferry port of Porto Vecchio and the airports of Ajaccio, Bastia, Calvi and Figari have set new records.
  • On the ro-ro freight side, most ports saw an increase. Only Toulon, on mainland France, went down -8%. Marseille is the most important mainland French port for freight.
  • Corsica Linea is the biggest freight carrier, and saw month after month a steady increase. Second is La Meridionale, followed by Corsica Ferries.

All statistics can be found on the old-style (and in French) ORTC website under ‘publications’.

Photo: Mike Louagie


By | 2018 Newsletter week 06 | No Comments

Port of Marseille Fos set to build on 2017 growth

From the many 2017 figures from Port of Marseille Fos we highlight the ones relevant for the ferry industry.

  • An 11% increase in ro-ro volumes – led by 202,000 trailers on Corsica and North Africa trades.
  • Passenger carryings on Corsica and North Africa ferry services rose 7% to 1.2 million.
  • New project expenditure included €14.6m to enlarge the Marseille harbour area’s Passe Nord access for cruise and ferry vessels, a €2.5m ferry terminal upgrade and the €2.3m installation of an 800-tonne capacity project cargo ro-ro ramp in Fos – the largest in France.
  • Environmental initiatives, including further ‘cold ironing’ facilities for ferries, reduced port dues for ‘green’ vessels under the Environmental Ship Index and membership of the LNG Focus Group – following the MoU signed last July – under which major world ports are working to promote LNG as a marine fuel.