Cairo: The last group of ships stranded due to the blocking of the massive container vessel, Ever Given, have crossed the vital waterway on Saturday, an official said.
In a statement, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), Osama Rabie said that the remaining 61 ships, in addition to newly-arrived 24 vessels, passed through the canal on Saturday.
He stressed that the work has been ongoing to ensure that all stranded ships cross the canal.
The 224,000-tonne Panama-flagged ship, Ever Given, was grounded on March 23 after it had veered off its course in a single-lane stretch of the canal during a sandstorm. It was refloated six days later through the efforts of the SCA in cooperation with the Dutch firm Boskalis and its emergency response team SMIT Salvage hired by Ever Given's owner.
The incident caused a six-day suspension of navigation in the canal, stranding at least 422 ships.
Linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, the Suez Canal is a major lifeline for global seaborne trade because it is the shortest maritime route from Europe to Asia since it allows ships to travel south Asia without having to navigate around Africa, thereby reducing the sea voyage distance between Europe and India by about 7,000 km.
The unique geographical position of the Suez Canal makes it of special importance to the world and to Egypt as well. It provides Egypt with its main sources of income, alongside tourism and remittances from expatriates.
At least 18,840 ships passed through the canal last year