France operators reassure clients over Calais crisis

France operators reassure clients over Calais crisis

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Operators to France have sought to reassure customers that their holidays are not at risk from the ongoing crisis at Calais.

Migrants in the town have been making nightly bids to cross to the UK via the Eurotunnel terminal at Coquelles, leading to delays on cross-Channel services. Striking ferry workers were also intermittently affecting travel.

In a statement, a Eurotunnel spokesman said a decision to increase the police presence 
at the terminal at the end of 
last week had led to “a reduction 
in the number of intrusions 
and ensured a service that is 
close to normal for transporters”.

Eurocamp and Canvas Holidays reported a “small number of cancellations and alterations”, while Al Fresco Holidays said customers who had missed their departures had been able to catch later trains.

Susan Field, director of golf tour operator Fields Fairway, which offers trips to France and Belgium by car, said most of its customers used Eurotunnel.

“Customers are concerned 
and many have contacted us for advice about their future travel,” she said.

“Only a handful have been directly affected by delays, all on days when there was a fatality at the tunnel.

“We have ensured they did not miss any part of their trip and reorganised other parts of the itinerary accordingly.

“Some customers have taken alternative routes, but we aim to keep as many with Eurotunnel as possible, as things are improving and passenger traffic is running pretty normally.”

Iris Matthews, director of Matthews Holidays, which offers self-drive mobile-home holidays in France, said: “It is understandable that families will be anxious to avoid unnecessary delays.

“By the time our clients travel, any problems thrown up by any overnight disruption have usually been cleared.

“There are so many alternative routes that clients reticent about travelling via Eurotunnel can use.”

Simon Allan, managing director of Canvas Holidays, added: “The continued problems have undoubtedly caused significant inconvenience to some clients.

“We have a number of options to get them to Europe, for which we have seen increased demand in the late-booking market.”

Operators are encouraging customers with concerns to contact them.

Abta advises holidaymakers to keep up to date with their travel provider, to allow extra time for their journey and to carry supplies of essential items in case of delays.


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