Red Funnel welcomed back its Hi-Speed Red Jet service between Southampton and West Cowes, with services resuming on Monday 29 June 2020.
The Red Jet service has been suspended for an unprecedented 72 days following a reduction in demand and the need to maintain resilience within the Red Funnel operation as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Operations resumed on board Red Jet 6, with the first sailing departing from Southampton at 05:15 on Monday 29 June.
The reinstated service will initially offer three crossings in the morning and three in the evening from each side of the Solent, seven days a week, and it is hopes to increase crossings soon.
In order to support social distancing measures, the Red Jet capacity has been reduced to a maximum of 148 passengers – 54% of normal capacity. Returning customers can expect to find seat markers indicating blocked seats to assist with social distancing and enhanced cleaning and sanitisation.
Face coverings continue to be mandatory for all travellers, except in specific cases of exemption as outlined by the government.
Fran Collins, CEO of Red Funnel, commented: “We are absolutely delighted to see our Red Jet fleet back in operation and to share this positive news with passengers. I’d like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding over the past few months while Red Jet has been out of operation.
“Behind the scenes we have been working hard to meet government guidelines for health and safety and ensure all social distancing measures, signage and processes are in place.
“We’ve also been keeping the Jets active with a weekly maintenance routine and we’re happy to report that we’re ready to safely welcome passengers back onboard.
“Whilst we’re starting with a restricted service, we will be closely monitoring the situation regarding customer demand and will adapt our operations and timetables to ensure we continue to support our customers in line with the latest government guidance.”
Coincidentally, Red Funnel has resumed its services with the same Commander, Ali Mousavi and Chief Officer, Suresh Mason, who were at the helm of the final Red Jet crossing on Friday 17 April before the service was suspended.
Ali Mousavi, Red Jet Commander, added: “It’s so great to be back! We have really missed operating our Red Jet service over the past 72 days and it feels amazing to be back on the bridge again working alongside the rest of the Hi-Speed team.”