Hovertravel to launch new timetable in hopes of providing a more reliable service.
The cross-Solent travel provider will introduce a new 30 minute schedule from November 1 instead of its previous 15 minute timetable.
The business currently has one working craft while the other is being repaired in Woolston due to a ballast issue.
When the Solent Flyer vessel returns toward the end of November, the current working craft, Island Flyer, will also be sent over for the same procedure and might not be back in full service until March 2019 – although no dates have been fixed yet.
The long term plan is to have two fully operational vessels, and run the 30 minute service in such a way that one craft is always on hand as back up – this may happen in intervals over the winter.
The changes are the result of a company review spearheaded by Hovertravel’s managing director, Neil Chapman.
He explained that their current reliability rating this summer was 96 per cent, although he admitted, recent headlines can paint a darker picture than that.
Mr Chapman digressed that he wanted the company to regain a credible and reliable reputation so commuters and tourists alike will chose the company when they travel.
He continued: “I want that [reliability rating] up to 99 per cent plus. On the new timetable we believe we’ll be able to increase that reliability. If the 6.15am has a problem, we’ll be able to pull the other craft in and operate it.
“I want to get back that credibility, I want to get back that reliability, I want to get consistency back.”