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24/04/2018

CalMac working round the clock to ease disruption

West coast ferry operator CalMac has reassured customers that despite unavoidable disruption due to vessel repair overrun, each of its 26 island destinations remain very much open for business.

The company's priority has been responding to its customers and has handled over 12,500 calls during the last five days. 

'Staff are working overtime to reassign bookings on to the amended timetable and deal with new customer reservations. The most important thing for our customers is that they know with as much certainty as possible that the journey they are booked on will run, we are working pretty much round the clock to provide that certainty,' said managing director, Robbie Drummond. 

All customers booked to travel up until 23 May will have their travel arrangements confirmed by 25 April. The company is making every effort to return to its normal timetable and scheduled services by 23 May.

'We originally thought this temporary timetable would be until the end of May but I'm pleased we will be aiming to bring this forward by a week, meaning normal service should be resumed before the Islay Whisky Festival,' said Mr Drummond. 

  • Other additional arrangements that have been made to ease potential disruption include:
  • Deployment of an additional vessel on Claonaig Lochranza route on the weekends of 4 May, 11 May and 18 May to provide additional capacity on Arran over peak weekends
  • Looking at additional sailings on Islay leading up to the weekend of May 4
  • The MV Loch Bhrusda has been deployed to Mallaig Armadale to provide additional cover from April 24

The MV Clansman has undergone temporary repairs to allow it to return to service but it will have  to return to dock  for a short duration in June for the replacement of the tailshaft, a key part of the vessel's propulsion system. The company is working to minimise the impact on customers and will issue an update once dates are confirmed. 

'We are making it a priority to keep customers informed and up to date with our sailing timetables. We have very much welcomed the understanding and cooperation of our customers" Mr Drummond added.

Customer updates will be published daily via CalMac Service Status, through @calmac_updates on twitter and on facebook.com/calmacferries/

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