Major Danish ferry route suspended after ramp breaks down

The Molslinjen ferry between Aarhus and Sjællands Odde was suspended on Monday after a ramp on board one of the company’s ferries suffered technical problems.

A file photo of the Molslinjen ferry at Aarhus Harbour.
A file photo of the Molslinjen ferry at Aarhus Harbour. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

14 departures on Monday have been cancelled as a result of the issues, a spokesperson said.

Windy weather was given as an additional reason for the cancellations.

“We have simply been hit by two problems at once. One is that we have a ramp which will not raise under its own power and is thereby blocking a loading bearing at Odden [Sjællands Odde, ed.],” Molslinjen head of public relations Jesper Maack told news wire Ritzau.

“The other bearing is so affected by wind today that we cannot use it, so we must take the unusual step of cancelling voyages,” he said.

One of the two ramps used for driving vehicles on to the ferries at the Sjællands Odde port can only be used in calmer weather, Ritzau writes. The ferry operator must therefor wait for the wind to die down.

Monday was not expected to have exceptionally heavy traffic on the ferries but a “few hundred” passengers are likely to see journeys affected, according to Molslinjen.

“It is naturally very regrettable that we have met with such big problems that we can’t even offer (passengers) a departure,” Maack said.

Weather is expected to have eased enough for services between Aarhus and Sjællands Odde to resume by 4pm on Monday, Ritzau writes.

That means the next departure from Aarhus is likely to be at 4:15 pm and from Sjællands Odde at 6pm.

Passengers affected by the situation will be contacted directly by the ferry company.

“They will be able to choose to the alternate route via the Great Belt [Bridge, travel by road or rail, ed.]. Or they can of course move their trip to another day,” Maack said.

Passengers who do not travel will be given a full refund, he said.

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Copenhagen Airport passengers warned of more queues on holiday weekends

Long queues were reported at Copenhagen Airport during last week’s extended public holiday weekend and similar issues are likely during two more upcoming holidays.

Copenhagen Airport passengers warned of more queues on holiday weekends

Staff shortages at security checks, caused by a lengthy rehiring process following the Covid-19 crisis, have been blamed for crowds and long queues at Copenhagen Airport during peak times this spring.

Long waiting times at security were reported both Thursday and Sunday at Copenhagen Airport, resulting in a significant number of passengers missing flights, broadcaster DR writes.

The airport’s commercial director Peter Krogsgaard told DR that Copenhagen is not alone in experiencing problems with queues.

“Copenhagen Airport and all airports in Europe have had a lot to do in re-hiring and training many employees after corona,” Krogsgaard said.

“We are therefore seeing that, now passengers are coming back and fortunately want to travel again, we are under a bit of pressure to begin with,” he said.

This means that passengers planning to travel during two more upcoming peak times – the public holidays on Ascension Day (Thursday May 26th) and Pentecost (Monday June 6th) – should brace themselves for lengthy queues at the airport.

Up to 70,000 passengers are expected during the first of the two public holidays, according to Copenhagen Airport.

“We expect to be very busy and are therefore advising all passengers travelling within Europe to arrive two hours before their flight. If you are going to outside of Europe, to the Unites States or Asia, you should come three hours before,” Krogsgaard told DR.

Passengers have few options should they miss flights due to long waits at security, a consumer rights consultant said to DR.

“You are in a very bad situation if you get to the airport too late in relation to the waiting times there actually are at security, because it’s your own responsibility to get to the airport in time to make the flight,” Vagn Jelsøe, senior consultant with the Danish Consumer Council (Forbrugerrådet Tænk), said to DR.

The airport expects to be fully staffed by the beginning of June, DR reports.

“Since January, we’ve done nothing other than hire a lot of new people and they must be trained and educated, and it takes some time for them to get to the security lanes,” Krogsgaard also said.

Airline SAS last week said it would cancel around 4,000 flights over the summer. The decision was made due to staff shortages combined with delayed deliveries of new aeroplanes, SAS said.