Rising from the ashes of SeaFrance, My Ferry Link got off to a low key start on 20 August as Berlioz and Rodin arrived in Dover from Calais for the first time since November last year carrying meagre loads. With early emphasis on freight, September saw little in the way of promotion of car/passenger traffic, although there were suggestions that the new operator, run by a French workers’ co-operative using tonnage bought by Eurotunnel from SeaFrance’s liquidators, was keeping its head down until the UK Office of Fair Trading and its French counterpart reported after considering observations by existing operators P&O Ferries and DFDS-LD Lines.
On the British side, former SeaFrance UK managing director Robin Wilkins is back behind his old desk, running the show from Whitfield, Dover and insisting My Ferry Link is more than a reincarnation of SeaFrance. ‘You’re going to see a completely different philosophy. It’s very much a brand-new company with new aspirations. The staff operating the ships will have a vested interest in ensuring good service. They have no possible benefit in being disruptive because it’s their own company,’ he commented. The new company has so far created 320 jobs in Calais.