Morocco plans to develop long-range passenger ferries

Morocco is ready to support the private sector in order to develop national long-range passenger ships linking Moroccan ports to European peers, transport minister Abdelkader Amara said.

Morocco already has a fleet that links Moroccan cities to southern Spanish ports but passenger traffic between the two countries has been cancelled this year due to Covid-19, the minister told MPs.

These sea links are usually busy in the summer when more than 3 million Moroccans cross the Mediterranean. This year only ports in France and Italy are available as Moroccan authorities negotiate another link with Portugal.

The Minister noted that long range crossings that last more than 48 hours are lacking and that a Moroccan company was given a license to open such long-range link but failed to operate it.

Prior to Covid-19, practically 97% of Moroccans in Europe used to cross to Morocco through southern Spanish ports.

The cancellation of the sea crossings with Spain takes place in a context marked by a standoff between Rabat and Madrid after Spain hosted Polisario leader without telling Morocco.

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