Chief executive, Admiral Ahmed Fadel, said that the 53rd anniversary of the canal’s nationalisation came at a time of ‘new challenges’ with a decrease in the number of ships crossing the 120-mile long canal.
Fadel said the financial crisis and the activities of pirates around the Horn of Africa region were affecting the number of ships using the canal, as well as the volume of cargo. He acknowledged that many ships were using the longer route around the Cape of Good Hope despite this being what he called ‘a costlier route’.
To date this year 19,354 ships have used the canal compared with 21,080 for the same period in 2008. The Suez Canal is one of Egypt’s main income earners along with tourism.