Freight loss may affect Steam Packet services

image captionPassenger services could be under threat

Jobs and ferry passengers services could be under threat at the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company after it lost some major freight contracts.

It follows the launch of a daily Dohle freight service between Douglas and Liverpool.

Steam Packet passenger services, which are subsidised through its freight division, are now being re-examined.

Briefings were taking place with staff on Monday afternoon as the company assesses its next move.

'Large impact'

"The passenger services we've said for many, many years now are subsidised by freight revenue," said chief executive Mark Woodward.

"So I think we'd be sticking our head in the sand if we were to say a substantial reduction in freight income would not have an impact on passenger services, because it certainly would be the case.

"We have to look now urgently at what we do for next year, what our schedules would look like, what we are able to provide - so that's happening now.

"It's obviously very clear that if there were to be a large impact on the Steam Packet Company then many of the services and employees... will obviously be affected in some way."

The company employs about 300 people on the island.

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