Cork to Northern Spain Service Update

Cork to Northern Spain Service Update

Monday 17 May 2010

Since our last posted email in April, I have had continuing dialogue with potential operators and investors and although positive progress is being made, we are not in a position to confirm a commencement date.

While I continue in my attempt to align the interests of investors and operator, I do not envisage a start-up until September/October 2010 at the earliest, until a suitable vessel becomes available.

I am very conscious that people have to make their travel arrangements for this summer and I do not wish for you to lose out on early booking deals and be penalised in any way by delaying your decision. The recent disruption on air travel by Icelandic ash has highlighted that Ireland, as an “Island Nation” is very dependent on sea transport and in particular on efficient ferry service connections to the UK and Continental Europe.

It has introduced ferry travel to a new younger generation that has become so reliant on air travel both for business and leisure travel.

From the interest generated and feedback received from people and importers/exporters who have contacted the Port of Cork, we have succeeded in convincing the potential investors of the viability of the service. However due to the current economic conditions in Ireland, Spain and Portugal, they are obviously examining every detail of the proposal.

The Irish Exporters Association have issued the following letter of support:

“The Association enthusiastically supports the proposals to establish a new direct ferry route that would give direct access for Irish Exporters to the French and Iberian marketplaces. The planned service should not only give cost and service reliability savings, but would also substantially reduce the carbon footprint of the products being shipped. In addition the completion of the National Motorway network makes the Port of Cork easily accessible to Exporters throughout Ireland”.

Thank you for your continued interest and support and I will retain your email address and revert when we have further news. I will continue to work on the commencement of this service.”