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Stena Line appeals for assistance after coronavirus slump

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Last week the Irish Government announced a €55m (£47.9m) package of support for its ferry services, with links operated by Stena Line out of ports in the Republic to benefit

Last week the Irish Government announced a €55m (£47.9m) package of support for its ferry services, with links operated by Stena Line out of ports in the Republic to benefit

Last week the Irish Government announced a €55m (£47.9m) package of support for its ferry services, with links operated by Stena Line out of ports in the Republic to benefit

The Department for the Economy says it has told the UK Government of the need for assistance to the stricken maritime industry.

Ferry operator Stena Line last week announced cuts in its services between Northern Ireland and Great Britain following a slump in passenger numbers.

The firm has said its passenger ferry business had helped it sustain its freight services and that it now needs government help to secure essential links after a fall in bookings.

Last week the Irish Government announced a €55m (£47.9m) package of support for its ferry services, with links operated by Stena Line out of ports in the Republic to benefit.

Stena Line confirmed it had made a request for help to the Assembly, the First and deputy Ministers, as well as Finance, Infrastructure and Economy Ministers.

The Department for the Economy (DfE) said: "DfE is aware of a range of concerns being voiced by those in various parts of the transport and logistics industry.

"We are also aware of similar concerns being expressed across the UK as a whole and so these are issues that DfE, along with other NI departments, are raising nationally with the UK Government.

"DfE has not offered assistance to any ferry operator but has stressed to the UK Government that this is a critical issue and needs a resolution."

Stena Line has cut capacity on its Belfast to Liverpool route from six crossings daily to four, while Belfast to Cairnryan is down from 12 daily crossings to 10.

It has also temporarily suspended use of the Stena Forecaster, which reduces freight capacity to Birkenhead by 33%.

Belfast Telegraph