News Release 12-05-2008
Red Funnel announces fuel-saving Red Jet Timetable
Red Funnel is making a slight reduction in the number of midday Red Jet Hi-Speed sailings to help offset the cost of fuel.
Effective from Monday 19 May 2008, the 1145 and 1245 departures from Southampton and the 1215 and 1315 sailings from West Cowes will be withdrawn on weekdays (only).
From Southampton: weekday departures will be every 30 minutes until 1115, then 1215, 1315 and every 30 minutes thereafter.
From West Cowes: weekday sailings will be every 30 minutes until 1145, then 1245, 1345 and every 30 minutes thereafter.
The revised weekday timetable will offer up to 32 sailings per day in each direction. The service at weekends will remain unchanged with daytime departures every 30 minutes.
Tom Docherty, managing director comments, “This is not a decision we have taken lightly but unfortunately it is not possible to absorb the soaring cost of fuel. Rather than increase fares at this stage we believe reducing the service to hourly over the quieter lunchtime period is a more acceptable solution.”
Although Red Funnel has deliberately targeted its quieter sailings, it is acknowledged that frequency of service is important to customers and consideration will be given to reinstating the two round-trips if the price of fuel returns to a sustainable level.
Notes to editors
- The cost of marine gas oil is currently at a record high of £591.58 per metric tonne
- Red Funnel uses 10 million litres of fuel each year, costing in the region of £4.5 million
- The cost of fuel has more than doubled since 2004
- Apart from timetable optimisation; other fuel saving measures include fitting “wing tips” to propeller blades, computerised control of vessel acceleration rates and engine revs, regular anti-fouling of hulls and engine condition monitoring to minimise fuel usage
- In conjunction with South West Trains, Red Funnel’s Red Jet service via Southampton is the quickest return route between the Isle of Wight and London Waterloo
- An enhanced timetable will operate for Skandia Cowes Week 2-9 August 2008
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