Swedish ferry operator Stena Line has confirmed that it will permanently close the Trelleborg – Sassnitz ferry route.

The operator initially disclosed the plans to close the route on 8 April. Following that, the company and the German Works Council have now given the approval to close the route.

The move is expected to lead to the lay-off of 130 workers in Germany.

Stena Line CEO Niclas Mårtensson said: “With a heavy heart, we have now made the decision to close the ferry route between Trelleborg and Sassnitz, one of the oldest ferry lines in Europe.

“Above all, it is sad for the employees who are affected, but also for the people on Rügen, where the traditional ‘Kings Line’ meant a lot.”

The ferry F/S Sassnitz that operates on the route is docked at the Port of Uddevalla, Sweden. Stena Line plans to transfer the ferry to Stena RoRo and it may be chartered or sold.

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Stena Line Germany MD and trade director Ron Gerlach said: “The situation in the past few weeks has put a lot of strain on all sides.

“The longstanding difficult economic situation due to the lack of freight traffic combined with the loss of a large number of passenger bookings as part of the corona pandemic left us with no other choice in order to secure our business in the long term.

“So it is all the more important for us to look ahead and work to make Stena Line come out of the crisis more effectively.”

The company currently operates two (roll-on / roll-off passenger) RoPax ferry routes between Germany and Sweden.

In April, Stena Line planned to lay off 600 employees with 150 redundancies in the UK and the Republic of Ireland due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.