“The market is responding well”: Corsica Ferries judges these new lines from Sète to the Balearic Islands and Corsica

“The market is responding well”: Corsica Ferries judges these new lines from Sète to the Balearic Islands and Corsica

Fabien Agostini has been responsible for ports at Corsica Ferries since 2016. DR

Last January, Corsica Ferries announced the opening of two new ferry lines from Sète to the Balearic Islands and Corsica. Since then, the first was tested between April and June and the second took off in July. The opportunity to discuss these news and look forward to the future of the shipping company on the unique island with Fabien Agostini, ports manager at Corsica Ferries.

Begun last April, connections with the Balearic Islands ended at the end of June. What assessment can we draw up ?

It's still a little early, but we're happy, it's okay. There is still communication work to be done to make ourselves known in the west of France, the sector that we were targeting with this line. We clearly saw that the advertising on our site and that of the region worked.

The connections to Corsica have just started this Monday July 1st. What are first impressions ?

For now, it is above our expectations. Connections with Île Rousse work a little better than those with the Balearic Islands, because the interest is greater. The market is responding well, but we are not getting excited. We really have a very good return to the West. On Corsica, 60% of our passengers come from Aquitaine, Midi-Pyrénées and Languedoc-Roussillon, and come from the surroundings of Sète: from Nîmes, from Montpellier…

What is the profile of the other customers ?

As for the remaining 40%, they come from the Rhône-Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Île-de-France… and part from abroad. Generally speaking, we have a lot of families who book later and later: between 10 and 15 days before departure.

Given the success of these new lines, could additional connections be scheduled by the end of the year ?< /p>

Yes, that's planned. It’s positive, so we will continue by adding new dates. We have scheduled three stopovers towards Corsica, on Wednesdays September 11, 18 and 25, and three others towards the Balearic Islands, on Thursdays September 12, 19 and 26. For October, we will perhaps add some too. We will organize ourselves in due time, it’s easy to adapt during this end-of-season period.

The choice to set up in Sète was notably linked to the electrification of the docks. Did the port meet your expectations ?

The ships which operated in Sète (the Mega Expressand the Mega 4) will only be operational, from an electrical point of view, at the end of 2024 or early 2025. We are currently finalizing the necessary work. So we haven't connected them yet. But the fact that there is a dock connection will allow us to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in 2025 and 2026, if we continue our adventure in Sète.

Exactly, what is the strategy for next year ?

We are working on 2025, on the strategy to adopt. We are obviously interested in the port of Sète and the new clientele. Before thinking about opening other lines, we must first sustain the two that we opened this year. But the strength of Corsica Ferries is also to observe what is happening in the Mediterranean and to be ready to pounce on any market and any port.

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