P&O cancels services ahead of ‘major announcement’

P&O cancels services ahead of ‘major announcement’

In a confusing move, P&O Ferries has paused its services “in preparation for a company announcement” later on today.

The ferry operator said it was not going into liquidation but all ferries had been instructed to stay in port.

As a result, some sailings scheduled for today have been cancelled, with passengers told to use other companies that sail their routes.

A spokesperson said: “P&O Ferries is not going into liquidation. We have asked all ships to come alongside, in preparation for a company announcement. Until then, services from P&O will not be running and we are advising travellers of alternative arrangements.”

The cross-Channel operator has said on Twitter that sailings between Dover and Calais scheduled for 11:10 am, 11:15 am and 12:35 pm will no longer run, and customers with tickets were instructed to check-in to rival ferry company DFDS’ services.

An update is expected to be made at noon this afternoon.

As the news broke shadow transport minister Mike Kane said in the House of Commons: “Worrying news has just broken that P&O Ferries have been called to port as DP World, their owners, seek the long-term viability of this ferry company.

“Major disruption is expected. Can the Secretary of State update the House on any discussions he’s had with DP World, P&O Ferries of any potential redundancies, and any redundancies that may happen we don’t want those crews replaced by foreign cheap labour.”

Transport secretary Grant Shapps replied: “I am concerned with this news which is breaking on P&O Ferries. I understand they have temporarily paused their operations and that’s causing disruption at the short straits – Calais-Dover – as well as some other ports.

“I’m working with the Kent Resilience Forum and I’ve just instructed them to become intricately involved and other partners in this, and we’ll be taking steps later today – including ensuring that my officials will be having urgent discussions with P&O about the situation, particularly of concern for their workers.”

Updates to follow.

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Ellie joined Gi Media in July 2021.