Marhaba Operation 2021: Increase in capacity of maritime connections between European & Moroccan Ports
In accordance with the instructions of King Mohammed VI urging several institutions and stakeholders to facilitate the return back home for the summer holidays of members of the Moroccan community abroad, Moroccan authorities took a number of moves to ensure their return in the best conditions.
Thus, flag carrier Royal Air Maroc (RAM) announced the setting up of an “exceptional” and “historic” system to facilitate the travel of Moroccan expatriates this summer, strengthening its flights program, offering some 3 million seats at very accessible prices to members of the Moroccan community settled abroad. The exceptional fees were set according to the host country and the number of family members.
Following suit, the Directorate of Merchant Navy, took numerous steps with transport companies operating on the maritime lines with Europe to increase the capacity of the offer, diversifying the ports of embarkation and practicing reasonable prices for the passengers.
To this end, the reference prices of round-trip tickets, with a car, have been reduced to 995 Euros for a family of 4 people for long-haul routes and 450 Euros for medium-haul routes.
In the same context, discussions are underway with the Portuguese authorities with the aim of making the port of Portimao in Portugal a port of embarkation, by opening new shipping lines from this port to the port of Tangier Med.
These lines will be added to those of France and Italy already scheduled for this year, with an initial capacity of 20,000 passengers and 5,000 vehicles per week, as well as the mobilization of an additional ship on the lines Marseille – Tangier Med, and Genoa – Tangier Med, with a capacity of 4,000 passengers and 1,000 vehicles per week. Thus, the total capacity will reach about 48,000 passengers and more than 15,000 vehicles per week, which will cover the planned transit phase, from June 15 to September 15, 2021, with about 650,000 passengers and 180,000 vehicles.
Meanwhile, the Spanish ports of Algeciras, Tarifa and Malaga were excluded from the Marhaba operation 2021.
In addition, the Directorate of Merchant navy will continue its contacts with shipping companies to encourage them to increase the number of rotations and thus increase the capacity of transit, to meet demand during this period, taking into account the technical and procedural provisions of ports and vessels
On Sunday, King Mohammed VI urged all transportation companies and all other stakeholders in the field to facilitate the Moroccan diaspora’s return home for the summer holidays through offering affordable travel fees.
The King also urged all tourism operators, both in the field of transport and the hotel industry, to take the necessary measures to welcome the members of the Moroccan community living abroad in the best conditions and at the best prices.
The Sovereign also instructed the Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity as well as Moroccan embassies and consulates abroad to mobilize to assist the Moroccan diaspora travelling back home for the summer holidays and to put at their disposal a special support system on board the ships operating the crossing back home.
Civil society activists and members of the Moroccan diaspora have hailed the King’s instructions to facilitate their return home, highlighting the high significance of the noble royal gesture on their moral, financial and social situation.