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Resumption of Common Travel Area - Impact on Fares

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B7rleThrasher

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6 Dec 2018
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79
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County Wicklow
This week in Ireland there is a lot of noise in the press regarding the imminent reopening of the Common Travel Area between the ROI and UK. This is being increasingly publicised/pushed by Stena Line, Irish Ferries and Ryanair after 12+ months of low passenger patronage across the Irish Sea. The current restrictions see anyone arriving into the ROI having to mandatory quarantine for 5-14 days and provide

Ferry fares over the past 12 months have been incredibly high between the ROI and Wales, averaging around £500 return for a car and 2 passengers.
Stena have eluded to "booze cruise" style fares post-pandemic via their social media channels, now that Brexit has seen the return of duty free to their vessels. SailRail will obviously remain post-pandemic as a statically priced product, but it will be interesting to see how well publicised this is over the summer months once travel is permitted.

Air fares have been very low, Ryanair offering £9 singles and even British Airways fares between DUB and LHR have been starting at £23, even the day before travel.

What are your thoughts on the short-medium term impact of Ferry/Air fares due to the pandemic? Will we enjoy low(er) fares to resuscitate travel between the two islands to promote tourism, or will the operators try to recuperate their loses through higher average fares?
 
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alastair

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14 Oct 2010
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Interesting post. Leaving aside Covid situation, as a frequent user of Stena and Irish Ferries for many years up end 2019 it's a frustrating situation. My personal view has always been that the ferry companies to Ireland are simply not that interested in private cars and their passengers, and their fares reflect that. Even at busy times often the huge ferries convey only 30 or less private cars - the ferries seem only interested in freight/trucks. Quite recently, it was cheaper to book 2 return flights Luton/Knock plus rent a VW Passat for 2 weeks than buy a return ferry fare for 2 plus a car.

Much as many deride Ryanair (I don't), I suspect only a "Ryanferry" type operation will ever change this situation, and I can't see that happening any time soon..
 
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