Algeria: The National Maritime Passenger Transport Company has lost $68 million since March

Par ediallo - 12 December, 2020 - 21:12

The National Passenger Maritime Transport Company (ENTMV), which ceased operations in March, has already accumulated $68 million in losses. The recovery is dependent on the lifting of restrictions on Covid-19. The aging fleet remains uncompetitive and under-capable.

The health crisis of the Covid-19 has not spared ENTMV in Algeria. The public company has recorded a loss of 9 billion dinars (68 million USD) since the suspension of its commercial activities last 17 March.

The figures were made public by DG Ahcène Gueraïria, who was heard on Monday 7 December by the Transport and Telecommunications Commission of the National People's Assembly (APN).

"The company is suffering from a financial crisis and is encountering several difficulties, especially in the payment of workers' wages, due to the suspension of maritime services," says a statement from the APN.

Ahcène Gueraïria pleads for the rapid lifting of restrictions and above all for more support from the government. "The revival of ENTMV's activity will depend on the support that the state will have to provide".

He insists more on strengthening the company's logistical capacities, which until now have fallen short of demand.

ENTMV's fleet currently includes three ferries, the Tariq Ibn Ziyed, the Tassili and El Djazaïr acquired nearly 19 years ago.

"This fleet cannot compete with the French and Spanish fleets, especially in view of its low capacity," regrets the ENTMV boss, justifying the chartering of other vessels during the summer season to cover the deficit in maritime transport.

A new ship with 1,800 passengers is expected next month, but until then, "this additional capacity remains insufficient," he says, recalling that the densification of the fleet and the opening of new maritime points are the only means likely "to allow the company to impose itself and meet the expectations of its customers.

Romuald Ngueyap