Legal Challenge to the National Transport Authority interpretation of the EU Regulation no 1177/2010
While I firmly believe that IF have nothing but contempt for passengers, I have read their argument and the NTA's decision and think that IF have a good argument which could be successful in a court.
It isnt a good argument. It just sounds convincing. The NTA are seeking payment of compensation to passengers who could not travel from, or to, the port of their original booking. EU law for sea or air passenger transport looks at this the same way.
Regardless of when the cancellation occurred you're still entitled to the price of switching terminals. For example, if your flight to Edinburgh is cancelled and the airline offers you a ticket to Glasgow, they also must pay for you to get to Edinburgh. Doesnt matter if your flight is cancelled two years in advance or two days.
THIS IS A TEST CASE.
It would mean anytime a technical problem arises and some traffic was diverted to Rosslare or Dublin instead of loading them onto the Stena ferry, compenstation will be due. Think of all the Ulysses cancellations this year alone.
Technical issues aren't always covered by the legislation and the compensation depends on the delay - it could be as little as a sandwich and a bottle of water (or nothing at all). If a carrier cancels your crossing then why shouldn't they have to at least ensure you have some form of sustenance? If you are left stranded in a port should the carrier who left you there not have to do something about it? The legislation is designed to stop operators taking risks such as that taken by ICG in the first place! Take away that disincentive and we could have all sorts of things going on such as tickets going on sale for routes with little chance of starting for example.
Putting tickets on sale for a ferry that doesn't exist then saying it isn't your fault when she isn't delivered within the incredibly tight timescale is a little different to a minor technical issue. It is also worth bearing in mind ICG got compensation from the yard because of the delay and could have used that to fund passenger compensation rather than improving their balance sheet. As for planning to run a service from Rosslare prior to the ruling, they said it was "unlikely" well before the NTA announced their decision.
As things stand they did not do badly with Euro 60 Milliom in profit. A lot companies would love to be in their situation.
It seams however strange to kill the cash cow that summer traffic on Oscar Wilde would generate.
The court case could be over in May in any case and people tend to book closer to the time nowadays.
Just as well they had the profit from the sale of Dublin Swift to shore up their finances then (almost a quarter of that profit figure)! The year before they had the sale of Kaitaki. Next year it will likely be the profit from the sale of Oscar Wilde, but they are running out of assets to sell off to inflate their profits! Dublin Swift will probably leave in 2020 meaning that come 2021 there will only be Inishmore left to sell as the two newbuilds will still be getting paid for!
Operating profit (pre-tax) for the ferries division was actually €34.2m, down from €49.1m in 2017 meaning the ferries division only made 47min total pre-tax versus €73.1m in 2017. Despite what they say about fuel costs (an actual increase of about €4.5m) operating costs in the ferries division actually went down in 2018.