P&O Ferries reports highest number of cross-Channel passengers in August for 12 years
P&O Ferries today reports that the number of passengers crossing the English Channel on its services in August was the highest for any month since 2003.
P&O Ferries carried 1,177,053 people between Dover and Calais last month, a 2.5 per cent increase on the previous year and the highest monthly figure since August 2003.
The news follows a strong performance in July in which P&O Ferries carried more units of freight across the English Channel - 123,000 in total - than in any other month in its modern history.
The Dover-based company, which also operates routes across the North Sea and the Irish Sea, attributed the strong passenger numbers to its investment in a new class of super-ferry which has significantly enhanced capacity and tourists capitalising on the continuing economic recovery. Industrial action by French seamen which closed the port of Calais for several days during the peak season has not affected the upward trajectory.
Helen Deeble, Chief Executive of P&O Ferries, said: "This summer has been one of the most challenging ever for cross-Channel travel and I am very pleased that P&O Ferries has helped to keep tourists and freight moving between Britain and France in huge numbers."
"We have been able to carry well over a million people in August because of our investment in the new Spirit-class of ships which have helped to transform our customers' experience of cross-Channel travel. The Spirit of Britain and the Spirit of France are both capable of carrying 2,000 passengers, twice the capacity of a standard ferry, while offering a first class dining, leisure and retail experience."
"We expect further busy periods during the half-term holiday and also the winter sports season, with a growing number of skiers choosing to drive to the Alps via one of our ferries rather than fly."
P&O Ferries, which brought a sixth ship back into service on the English Channel in July in order to increase capacity, has also seen additional demand because of the well-publicised disruption at Eurotunnel. The company operates 58 sailings a day between Dover and Calais.