Interesting to hear the Steam Packet wailing about 'unfair competition'. I'd have thought the User Agreement made them the unfair competition.
Bill Malarkey, Phil Gawne and Chris Robertshaw have got it right. The principal problem with the Steam Packet is that they effectively financed their owners purchase of them through debt ( see Tynwald Hansard and previous article). Bit like the recent ignomously departed owners of Liverpool FC.
Their management have a lot to answer for. Buying one clapped out vessel could be deemed a mistake, but buying two vessels with engine issues that have elongated journey times is surely pretty careless. I understand that the Mezeron freight operation in Douglas operates on some land that was recently sold by the Steam Packet. I wonder if they blame our government or the User Agreement for that!
We may have to put up with some discomfort as the Packet try to swing public opinion by pruning the timetable to the minimum required under the User Agreement, but this is worth going through if it will result in us gaining an operator free of the debt burden and overbearing management structure that characterises the present company.
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