CAIRO: The military operation Resolute Storm currently taking place in Yemen has not affected traffic in Suez Canal, according to a statement released on Friday by Mahmoud Rizk, director of the department of planning at the Suez Canal Authority Wednesday.
“Since the military operation in Yemen was launched last week, revenues from the Suez Canal, along with marine traffic, has been normal compared to the same period last year,” Rizk was quoted by the state-run Al Ahram Wednesday.
The statement came during a visit of delegations of Arab media outlets and newspapers to the New Suez Canal project Wednesday.
After Saudi-led military operations against Houthi fighters in Yemen were launched on March 25, there were concerns that the unrest could impact the Bab al-Mandeb Strait, an important trade route that links the Red Sea through the Gulf of Aden.
In his statement, Rizk said that “Weeks before the launch of the military operation, the Saudi and Egyptian forces carried out joint military maneuvers to secure the strategic strait in anticipation of the potential escalation of conflict in the area.”
After the new Suez Canal Development Project is achieved, ships of a draft reaching up to 66 feet will be able to cross the canal, said Rizk adding that the new project is expected to increase the revenue of the canal up to $17 billion a year.
According to Rizk, the project aims to broaden and deepen the canal’s waterway in accordance with the demand of the maritime transport industry. “This will prepare it to deal with larger vessels,” said Rizk.
Around 3.8 million barrels of oil pass through Bab al-Mandeb each day, according to the traffic statistics on the Suez Canal Authority’s website.