By Tara Rippin •
Published: 06 Mar 2021 • 12:45
First passenger ferry sets sail from Motril to Melilla a year after Covid forced its suspension.
ON its maiden four and a half hour voyage, five passengers and vehicles boarded the ferry at Las Azucenas dock at 8.47am on Friday, March 5.
The Volcán del Tauce ferry has remained moored due to the outbreak of the pandemic since March 13, and since then, the Port Authority has been trying to recover the passenger lines, which account for 30 per cent of the annual business volume.
As a result of the closure, the shipping company was forced to furlough 73 per cent of the 251 workers that make up its workforce in Spain.
The ticket office opened before dawn and the Guardia Civil were positioned at the dock to conduct customs control, and while the ferry has a capacity for 777 passengers, only five boarded, reports Ideal.
President of the Port Authority, José García Fuentes, told the publication: “We ventured that this March the regular lines would be restored and today’s activity is the starting gun for the recovery of all the lines.
“From the beginning of April we will have at least four lines in operation. Not only are we going to recover 100 per cent of the lines, we are also adding two shipping companies, Balearia, which will operate another connection to Melilla and MCL, connecting Motril with Tangier for freight traffic.”
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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