The “Marhaba 2023” operation to welcome Moroccans residing abroad (MRE), which started a month ago, recorded a 28% increase in arrivals at the various port crossing points compared to the same period last year, Transport and Logistics Minister Mohamed Abdeljalil told the House of Councilors on Tuesday.
This increase is mainly due to Aid al-Adha, noted Abdeljalil in his response to a question on “Preparing for the return of MREs” asked by the Social Justice Group, stressing that the transit operation, launched on June 5 on the King’s instructions, is generally taking place in good conditions, thanks to the joint efforts of all the players.
Regarding the transit operation by sea for this year, the Minister affirmed that his department has worked to provide reception capacity that meets the flows expected during peak periods, noting that 32 ships have been mobilized to operate on 12 shipping lines to connect Moroccan ports with those of Spain, France and Italy, in order to ensure 538 weekly trips with a total capacity of 501,000 passengers and 136,000 cars each week.
In addition, Abdeljalil indicated that ticket prices have experienced a significant increase at the global level compared to the year 2019, and this due to the inflation that the world is experiencing, stressing that the ministry has worked recently to encourage domestic and foreign shipping companies to reduce their tariffs for the transit operation, and as a result a number of companies offered preferential tariffs on ticket prices which amounted to 25%.
Operation Marhaba is one of a kind, he added, explaining that it requires mobilizing the necessary logistical means and combining the efforts of several actors so that MREs can travel in comfortable and safe conditions, that either by air or by sea.