The ferry service between the Egyptian dive-resort towns of Hurghada and Sharm el Sheikh, which resumed operations recently after a seven-year break, as reported on Divernet, has been suspended once again.
The La Pespes catamaran can carry 300 passengers and takes 2.5 hours to make the crossing, providing a travel option for divers finding it difficult to reach Sharm by air because of the UK flight ban.
However, the La Pepses operator has now been told by the port authorities that further permission should have been obtained from Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Customs Clearance Authority.
The latter has now demanded payment of 2 million Egyptian pounds (about £175,000) to operate the route. A spokesman for La Pepses told Divernet that it had not previously been informed about such a requirement.
“We decided to suspend the service until we find a solution… we at least want the government to give us a chance,” he said, adding that the amount was “beyond our budget for the time being. We are working hard on the case and we will re-announce once we finish all required procedures.”
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