Ferry companies are reporting a significant upsurge in interest from passengers faced with travel uncertainty from both volcanic ash and strikes by British Airways staff.The PSA (Passenger Shipping Association) says more than 300,000 additional passengers were carried in April this year compared with the same month in 2009 following the shutdown of airspace due to volcanic ash.
On routes between the UK and Continental Europe there was nearly a 13 per cent increase in the number of passengers while on routes between the UK and Ireland there was a 16 per cent rise.
William Gibbons, Director of the Passenger Shipping Association said: ‘Members are reporting unprecedented demand on call centres with one company reporting a 30% increase in car traffic over the last few days. The feedback received from customers during the recent disruptions has been extremely positive with the crisis demonstrating the strengths and flexibility of ferry services. Ferries are now seen as a more reliable and comfortable option than flying when travelling to the Continent and Ireland.’