Stena Line Buys Two Routes on Irish SeaBy Stena Line, PRNE
Sunday, December 19, 2010
BELFAST, Ireland, December 20, 2010 - Stena Line has signed an agreement with DFDS to acquire its Liverpool
(Birkenhead) to Belfast and Heysham to Belfast routes.
The acquisition, which amounts to approximately GBP40M, will enable Stena
Line to improve its service on the Irish Sea by offering several different
alternatives for transportation between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
In recent years, Stena Line has invested heavily in significant
improvements across the whole of its route network. Irish Sea Ferry
(www.stenaline.co.uk/ferry/ferries-to-ireland/) area director Michael
McGrath believes the latest acquisition reflects Stena Line's commitment to
the Irish Sea and will improve service and frequency for passengers and
"These new Irish Sea routes will complement our existing services for
ferries to the UK (www.stenaline.co.uk/ferry/ferries-to-britain/)
perfectly and enable us to offer our customers even more options for ferry
transport across the Irish Sea," said McGrath.
"At the same time, we are strengthening Belfast as a transport hub for
freight and passengers to and from Northern Ireland," he added.
Included in the purchase from DFDS are four ships which include the
chartered Lagan Seaways and Mersey Seaways on the Liverpool-Belfast route and
the freight carriers Scotia Seaways and Hibernia Seaways, all of which are
now to be taken over by Stena Line.
"We will continue to develop the routes and look at the capacity we will
need in the future," said Stena Line CEO Gunnar Blomdahl. "During the last 10
years, we have invested approximately EUR250M in our Irish Sea operations
and, going forward, we will continue to invest in the development of our
services between Britain and Ireland."
The transaction between Stena Line and DFDS will be notified to the Irish
and UK competition authorities.
In a separate announcement, Stena Line also revealed that, following a
decision made some time ago, it will close its Fleetwood ferry crossing to
Larne operations due to ongoing losses on the route.
"Since we acquired the route in 2004, we have made progress in terms of
improving the quality of service to our customers but, despite all the hard
work of everyone associated with the route, we have continued to trade at a
significant loss, and it is not envisaged this position will change," said
Irish Sea area director Michael McGrath.
"The ferries to Larne route operates with older tonnage which can be
problematic but investment in newer tonnage is not an option as the higher
capital costs would make our losses even worse.
"No business can continue to carry such losses on an ongoing basis so
there is no alternative but to close the route at the end of this year," he
"The decision to close ferries to Fleetwood was taken some time ago on
the basis of the current and projected performance of the route, and before
the opportunity arose to buy these other routes," he explained.
About Stena Line:
Stena Line is one of the world's largest ferry operators, with ferry
services serving Scotland, Sweden, Northern Ireland, Denmark, Norway,
England, Wales, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands and Poland. Stena Line is a
major unit of Stena AB, itself a part of the Stena Sphere, a grouping of
Stena AB, Stena Metall AB and Stena Sessan AB. Stena Line also owns the
Swedish vessels of the otherwise German and Danish-owned Scandlines.
Stena Line PR contact: Nigel Tilson Stena Line Communications Manager (UK) Victoria Terminal 4 West Bank Road Belfast BT3 9JL +44(0)28-9088-4036
Stena Line PR contact: Nigel Tilson, Stena Line Communications Manager (UK), Victoria Terminal 4, West Bank Road, Belfast, BT3 9JL, +44(0)28-9088-4036
Tags: Belfast, December 20, ireland, Stena Line, United Kingdom