By Lauren Howells.

Brittany Ferries has told the BBC’s Wake Up to Money that it is seeing a drop in bookings for next summer, as customers are concerned about what impact Brexit will have on travel.

After the ferry company saw a 2% rise in passenger traffic from July to September this year compared to the same period in 2017, it said that it was sounding the alarm, as family bookings for next summer already showed a “worrying downward trend”.

Nigel Wonnacott from Brittany Ferries said that the drop that the company was seeing in bookings for next summer was coming fundamentally from some of its most loyal customers.

“These are families who book ferry crossings and holidays with us each year. It’s a drop at the moment probably of between 4 and 5 per cent.” He added that it was this that was really “raising the red flag”. 

“consequences on both sides of the channel” 

Brittany Ferries’ CEO, Christophe Mathieu, said that 85% of their passengers were British holidaymakers travelling to northern Spain and France. He added that the instability and uncertainty in the UK would have consequences on both sides of the channel.  

“A poor deal, or perhaps no deal at all, could impact Brittany, Normandy and the Loire, regions that have benefited directly from the links we have established and the demand we have grown for Brits travelling overseas over the last 45 years.”

Brittany Ferries’ new LNG-powered vessel, ‘Honfleur’, which will serve the Portsmouth-Caen route, is one of three new ships on order which form part of its €450 million “investment in the future”.

The first Brittany Ferries’ sailing took place on the day after Britain joined the EEC (European Economic Community) in the early 1970s.  

Travellers warned of “monumental tangle of red tape” 

Brittany Ferries sees drop in bookings due to Brexit uncertainty

One holidaymaker wrote to Wake Up to Money to say that although they had booked hotels, they were not going to book their ferry or other transport until after March 2019, when the situation became clearer. Another said that having previously gone on holiday abroad every year, they were going to stay in the UK next summer.

In September, the Independent warned that British travellers to Europe could face “a monumental tangle of red tape” if there were to be a no-deal Brexit.

Last month, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) called for urgent action by the UK and the EU to put contingency planning in place for the continuation of air services in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

It said that as there were no fallback agreements, such as the WTO framework, available in a no-deal scenario, not addressing issues such as policies and processes needed for efficient boarder management, could mean chaos for travellers and interrupted supply chains. It said that a backstop contingency plan to keep planes flying after March must be published quickly.