Latest passenger figures for ferry crossings to France reveal 2016 was a record year at Portsmouth International Port, with passenger numbers hitting a ten year high.
The impressive statistics are taken from Brittany Ferries’ yearly review. They show last year the number of passengers crossing to France from Portsmouth International Port rose by 3.7% to 1.7 million.
The amount of freight being carried from Portsmouth International to the near continent by Brittany Ferries also rose significantly. The operator, which is based in Portsmouth, saw freight units rising by 3% to 146,199.
A growth in passenger numbers and freight from Portsmouth has contributed to a strong financial performance for Brittany Ferries in 2016. Turnover rose by 5.2%, up to €454.9 million.
The company puts much of its success down to performance at its Portsmouth hub, which now accounts for 63% of all business. In a press release reporting the figures Brittany Ferries described Portsmouth International Port as its “terminal 5”, a reference to British Airways main hub at London Heathrow.
Mike Sellers, Port Director at Portsmouth International Ports, was delighted by the figures for 2016. He said: “It’s no surprise that Brittany Ferries considers Portsmouth International Port to be its terminal 5. We’ve invested heavily in new passenger facilities, and the stunning airport style terminal delivers a first class experience for travellers. The investment has helped change the face of ferry travel at Portsmouth, with customers also telling us that improved access from London and the South East due to the Hindhead Tunnel is another major factor in choosing Portsmouth.”
The figures come despite challenging economic conditions, and the ever changing political landscape. Mike Bevens, Commercial Director for Brittany Ferries, said “Brexit has brought challenges to our business, but we remain confident. People will always seek a convenient and enjoyable way to holiday on the continent and families in particular come to us to avoid the hassle of the airport. Our cruise ferries, high speed and économie services will continue to be the most relaxing and attractive way to reach beautiful destinations.”
Councillor Donna Jones, Leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: "It's good to see more positive news about the Port. We work closely with Brittany Ferries, as a longstanding partner, and it's very pleasing to see them enjoying such success. We've made substantial recent investments in the Port to make sure it remains an attractive option for passengers and freight customers."