SeaFrance has had to suspend its ferries from Dover to Calais for 48 hours prior to a decision that will be made on its future today.
The French ferry firm said that it halted its scheduled services in order to safeguard its ships, passengers, and also crew members. The company said that it is conscious of inconveniences that have been caused by the situation and an apology was also made.
The announcement comes after a European Commission rejection of a rescue plan as well as a ruling that a bailout of €200m from France’s government was illegal. The European Commission stated that the rescue plan put together by SNCF, a French railway operator, breached state aid rules.
SeaFrance currently has four ferries that sail between ports at Dover and Calais, transporting over 3.5 million passengers per year. A ruling on its future will be made at Paris’ Tribunal of Commerce in Paris, which will decide whether or not to sell SeaFrance to either of two parties interested in purchasing it or declare that the firm isn’t viable any longer.
In the meantime, P&O ferries has put forward a complaint to the EU’s Competition Commission, located in Brussels, and has said that it has concerns over the assets of SeaFrance being sold by France’s government at far less than the true market value.