Press Release: P&O Ferries Announces Closure of its Larne-Troon Service

The following is P&O Ferries press release announcing the closure of the Larne to Troon route, reproduced in full P&O Ferries Announces Closure of its Larne-Troon Service After a comprehensive review of its options, P&O Ferries has decided to close its loss-making Larne- Troon route with immediate effect, but the company has also confirmed it will continue to operate its full Larne-Cairnryan route services throughout 2016 and into the future. P&O Ferries has proudly operated this additional seasonal route since 2003, but the stark reality is that the company is continuing to make losses, and sadly the income from ticket sales is not sufficient to cover the annual vessel and port operating costs. In a final attempt to make the route economic the company reduced the service in the off-peak months last year, whilst maintaining the full service in the peak months of July and August. Whilst this measure did significantly … Read more

Official: P&O close Larne to Troon service with immediate effect.

P&O's Express pictured leaving Larne on Easter Monday during her final year in service.

No redundancies amongst permanent staff as the loss making Larne to Troon service is axed. P&O today finally announced that the seasonal Larne to Troon ferry service has been closed with immediate effect.  This follows the decision last year not to renew the charter of the routes vessel, the InCat catamaran HSC Express, which was subsequently sold by her South American owners to Swedish interests for operation to Gotland.  It is also understood that the contract with ABP for the use of the Port of Troon expires this June.  Whilst there will be no redundancies as a result of the closure, NIFS understand however that the majority of the staff were seasonal meaning they no longer have jobs for the next year. In a statement released this morning, the ferry company said: “P&O Ferries has proudly operated this additional seasonal route since 2003, but the stark reality is that the … Read more

Official: P&O to axe Express from Larne-Troon service

Express passing Ballylumford power station, Easter Monday 2015. Copyright © Gary Andrews.

Public conformation that Express WILL be dropped from Larne-Troon at the end of this season. In an interview with the Larne Times, a P&O spokesperson has confirmed that the fast craft HSC Express will NOT have her charter renewed at the end of her current season, and that notice has already been given to the owners of the craft that this is the case.  Express currently operates the seasonal service between Larne and Troon, as well as providing support to the Isle of Man Steam Packet during the TT racing season.  This year marks the 15th year in a row that Express has been chartered by P&O, and her 10th operating on their North Channel services. Last week, NI Ferry Site published the news that staff and crew had been told that Express would not operate next year, however this interview provides public confirmation.  As we stated last week, P&O maintain that they … Read more

Further doubt cast over the future of the Larne-Troon service.

News has reached NIFS that in the past few days, P&O staff have been told by the company that the charter of HSC Express will NOT be renewed at the end of the current season in October, and is currently being offered for sale by her owners. This confirms previous speculation that Express was indeed up for sale. Officially speaking, P&O are searching for an alternative craft to operate the service from next season onwards, however, it is hard to see where such a craft would be available from given the declining numbers of fast craft in North European waters. The P&O Larne – Troon service is, of course, the last remaining fast craft service linking Northern Ireland and Scotland, with the only other fast craft serving Northern Ireland being the IOMSPCo InCat Manannan Picture credit:  HSC Express. Copyright © Scott Mackey.