A total of 634,606 people and 153,934 vehicles have, until Monday, July 18, transited through Andalusian ports en route to Morocco and the African continent as part of Operation Marhaba or Crossing the Strait this year. according to Spanish media.
This represents roughly half (47%) more cars and a third (34.2%) more travelers compared to the last edition which took place in 2019. As a reminder, for two years, Dame Covid and diplomatic crisis oblige, the borders had been closed between Spain and Morocco. That being the case, it’s all good in perspective. Indeed, in the forecasts for this exercise, through the Marhaba or OPE operation on both sides of the two shores, we expect 3.6 million passengers and 800,000 vehicles. This operation covers the whole summer, including the return between August and September. However, it is said that one of the strong points is the departure in view of the past Eid El Adha and that therefore the month of July is one of the crucial periods in this rising influx.
The most critical day peaks so far have been July 8, 9 and 10, before Eid El Adha in Morocco and we expect with the A/R alternation between Julyists and Augustians to peak even more. raised. It is therefore a large number of vehicles that is expected at the end of July and the beginning of August. Mons it is predicted according to the Government Delegation in Andalusia that the nerve center of the return will be at the end of August. The latter estimating at 80%, our compatriots spending their holidays in their country of origin. A large part of them opting for their transit through Andalusian ports. The ports of Algeciras and Tarifa include, in the case, the bulk of the vehicles with nearly 70% of the total traffic.
Regarding passengers, the ports of Algeciras and Tarifa, due to their proximity to Tangier and Ceuta, represent almost 75% of the total number of passengers on board, Algeciras standing out with almost 65% of the total for Andalusia. Seven shipping companies are participating in this operation with 33 vessels transporting people and vehicles. The government delegate in Andalusia, Pedro Fernandez, welcomed the “normality” of the operation despite the largest influx recorded after the two years of border closures. He also highlighted the “good planning”, which allowed a flow “without major problems or incidents” in the Andalusian ports during this passage of travelers, the most important between two continents (Europe / Africa) in the world for a given period.
One of the factors facilitating the planning of the operation is the increase in the advance sale of tickets for ships, which has already reached 80% in addition to the possibility of interchangeability of tickets between maritime companies on the days very crowded, so that travelers board the first ferry as soon as they arrive, regardless of the ferry company from which they purchased the ticket. In addition, the Government Delegation of Sebta had announced in the middle of the week a possible rebound of passengers at the borders of Tarajal and Bab Sebta this weekend after Eid El Adha and coinciding with the National Day of France on July 14 had seen correctly.
According to official data from the president, in the past 24 hours, a total of 2,135 cars (1,357 non-residents in Sebta and 778 residents) had crossed the border of Bab Sebta without overflowing as happened in the first days of July. The delegation further indicated that almost 4,000 vehicles (3,964) passed through last weekend, warning of an even bigger increase for the last weekend of July. The Sebta authorities want to avoid the scenes of chaos over the Eid weekend which had led to waits of 12 hours and more before crossing the borders. Also, they carried out a reinforcement of agents in addition to a large number of private security agents to facilitate the passage of travelers.