Morocco plans to develop long-haul passenger ferries
Morocco is ready to support the private sector to develop long-haul national passenger ships connecting Moroccan ports to their European counterparts, said Transport Minister Abdelkader Amara.
Morocco already has a fleet that connects Moroccan cities with ports in southern Spain, but passenger traffic between the two countries has been canceled this year due to Covid-19, the minister told MPs.
These maritime links are generally very busy in summer when more than 3 million Moroccans cross the Mediterranean. This year, only the ports in France and Italy are available because the Moroccan authorities are negotiating another link with Portugal.
The minister noted that long-distance crossings lasting more than 48 hours are lacking and that a Moroccan company has obtained a license to open such a long-distance link but has not operated it.
Before Covid-19, almost 97% of Moroccans in Europe passed through Morocco through ports in southern Spain.
The cancellation of sea crossings with Spain comes in a context marked by a standoff between Rabat and Madrid after Spain welcomed the Polisario leader without informing Morocco.