The Algerian authorities are moving to postpone the opening of the land and air borders, especially with the countries of the northern bank of the Mediterranean, the first destination for Algerians, and this is due to the infection curve that has reached frightening levels in these countries, and the fear of opening an infection front that has uncalculated consequences for the country in light of a continuous decrease in the pandemic for weeks in Algeria which the authorities consider “an asset that must be preserved”.
Sources in the Algerian transport companies (air and sea) told Echorouk, there are no indications so far from the higher authorities to reopen the maritime and airspace and the return of commercial flights of the two companies, indicating that the absence of any signs so far has been strengthened by the alarming epidemiological situation in European countries that are considered a major destination for Algerians, as daily infections in France, for example, reached 10,000 cases per day, and new measures were imposed in Spain to limit the high daily infection cases.
According to the same sources, the fear lies in the possibility of transmission of infections in large numbers in Algeria if the air and sea borders are opened, whether for Algerians returning from Europe after a vacation or Algerians and foreigners who travel to Algeria from Europe, noting that the authorities observe the epidemiological situation in Algeria that is considered for weeks as a “gain that must be preserved”, a situation that calls for continuing to bear the financial losses of the shipping and air transport companies largely, but without losing public health.
Echorouk sources said the passengers’ maritime transport company has canceled more than 450 journeys, equivalent to approximately 250,000 passengers and about 90.000 to 100,000 cars, since March 16, 2020.
“The company’s losses due to canceled trips so far reached about 4 billion dinars, equivalent to 400 billion centimes, i.e $33 million.
As for Air Algérie, and according to the expectations of the Ministry of Finance at the end of July, its losses will reach about 35 billion dinars (3500 billion centimes), if the closure continues until the end of the current year, including 16 billion dinars (1600 billion centimes), between 19 March and 29 April , the equivalent of 4357 flights and one million and 68 thousand passengers.