By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 5 August 2014:
Tripoli Municipality Council yesterday revealed that it is in the process of starting passenger ferry services . . .[restrict]from Tripoli to a variety of destinations.
Initial discussions, the Council reported, rotated on the possibility of initiating passenger ferry lines from Tripoli (Shaab) Sea Passenger Terminal on the lower corniche coastal road, opposite the Radisson hotel, to Tunis, Morocco, Egypt and Turkey.
The aim is to provide alternative means of international transport for Libyans wishing to travel abroad as well as a means of getting those Libyans stranded abroad back home.
The sudden need for alternate means of international transport has arisen from the fighting taking place in Tripoli by the various militias. This has led to the destruction of numerous Libyan owned aircraft as well as serious damage to Tripoli International Airport.
Tripoli International Airport has been closed down to all flights and Tripoli’s smaller Maetiga airport is only operating limited flights with Libyan owned aircraft.
Tripoli Municipality Council reported that it has held discussions with the management of Tripoli’s Sea Passenger Terminal as well as the General Maritime Transport Company with the aim of commencing these passenger ferry lines “within the next few coming days”.
To this end, Tripoli Council has undertaken to carry out the urgent maintenance needed in order to prepare the sea passenger terminal for operations.
It is noteworthy that the possibility of a passenger ferry line to Malta was, surprisigly, not discussed when Malta is the nearest European country with an efficient air transport connection network to the rest of Europe.
It is also worth recalling that Tripoli’s sea passenger terminal has not been operational on a consistent level for decades and not since the 1990’s Lockerbie flights embargo. [/restrict]