DFDS and Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA) have agreed to form a new company which, from 1 July, is to combine the Channel operations of DFDS and three LD Lines services.

The new company, 82 per cent owned by DFDS with a modest 18 per cent share for LDA, will include the three-ship Dover-Dunkirk service which DFDS acquired from Norfolkline during 2010 and served by 35,400gt sisterships Delft Seaways (2005), Dover Seaways (2006) and Dunkereque Seaways (2005), together with the joint Dover-Calais route launched in February, the LD/Transmanche service from Newhaven to Dieppe and LD’s Portsmouth-Le Havre route and the Western Med link from Marseille-Tunis.

However, LD’s France-Spain ‘Motorways of the Sea’ service, between Saint-Nazaire and Gijon, opened during 2010, is not included. In a statement at the end of March, DFDS said: ‘By combining the capabilities and operations of LD Lines and DFDS, a new and stronger company is formed, that is well positioned to defend and increase its customer services on the competitive Channel market.’

As we went to press, it had still to emerge whether ferries will receive a new corporate livery or continue with their existing colours and names.

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