Wightlink Dropping Some Night Sailings

Wightlink's cutting 40 jobs and dropping some overnight sailings to save money.

In a statement, CEO Russell Kew said:

"Everyone has been affected by the economic downturn, and businesses like ours which largely rely on tourism have also been affected by the poor weather over the summer. Many of our costs, such as fuel, are also rising steeply.

"We want to protect our customers as much as possible from impact of these factors, and so we are planning some changes which will improve our efficiency.

"In response to low passenger numbers, from 1 Jan 2013, a small number of overnight sailings will no longer operate. Despite extensive marketing, the night sailings are very poorly used: on average they are 93% empty for passengers with vehicle decks 80% empty."

The firm says it's invested more than £50m in the business over the last five years, including new ships on the Lymington~Yarmouth and Portsmouth~Ryde routes.

It's also launched a voluntary redundancy scheme for its staff, and is closing its final salary pension scheme.

The proposed changes are, from 1st Jan 2013:

* combine the 2300 and 0130 Portsmouth-Fishbourne into a new 2359 sailing (thereby combining the 2359 and 0215 Fishbourne-Portsmouth into a new 0100 sailing)
* remove the 2315, 0015 and 0415 catamaran sailings from Portsmouth Harbour to Ryde (return sailings at 2347, 0047 and 0447 from Ryde)
* remove the 2230, 2359, 0345 and 0510 sailings from Lymington to Yarmouth (return sailings at 2315, 0035, 0430 and 0555)
* In addition the 0550 sailing from Lymington will be retimed to 0545 and the 0650 sailing from Yarmouth will be retimed to 0635

Find out more at  http://www.wightlink.co.uk/about-us/news/securing-the-future

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