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FAST FERRY: Norman Arrow Future In Doubt

Although LD Lines achieved nearly one-third increase in May-August, passenger figures for its two-ship service between Portsmouth and Le Havre, fast craft Norman Arrow may not return in 2012. The chartered 112m Incat and conventional ferry Norman Spirit carried 131,556 passengers during the four-month period, with half this total travelling in August, an increase of 45 per cent compared to the same month in 2010.

‘Operating as a seasonal service only, and despite the good commercial success of Norman Arrow during the 2011 summer period, the business model of high-speed craft is very difficult to maintain in the current economic climate,’ said LD Lines.

Owned by Dublin-based MGC Chartering, Norman Arrow is laid up in Rouen, and a decision about her 2012 service is expected in late October. The 2009-built, 1,200-passenger/417-car craft first ran on LD’s short-lived Dover-Boulogne service. RP

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