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Delay to MV Finlaggan returning to service

CalMac has announced that MV Finlaggan, a large vessel which usually serves Islay, has been delayed in annual maintenance and is now due to return to service on Saturday 18 May.

CalMac redeployed its vessels in April to account for MV Finlaggan's annual overhaul, and that timetable will remain in place until she returns on Saturday. Her overhaul was rescheduled to fall after the busy Easter holiday period and ensure she returns to service before the Islay Festival in late May.

The ferry operator has been supporting all of Uist and Barra with fuel supplies, after the pier usually used for fuel deliveries was condemned. Supplies have been delivered via CalMac ferries since.

CalMac had hoped to redeploy MV Isle of Mull from the South Uist service to support Mull and operate via Oban-Craignure, but this is not possible without MV Finlaggan due to the need for the delivery of vital supplies on all Uist and Barra. CalMac is exploring options to add extra capacity to Mull's service ahead of MV Finlaggan's return.

Duncan Mackison, CalMac's interim CEO, said: ""We are frustrated that MV Finlaggan's return has been delayed, and our fleet management team has had a regular presence at the shipyard recently. We have made it absolutely clear that these delays, even if only for a few days, have a real, detrimental impact on the islands and communities we serve."

With six new major vessels due to enter service by 2026, including MV Glen Sannox and MV Isle of Islay in the coming months, we will be much better equipped to manage maintenance delays and service disruption."

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