Qatar Airways reports that it has played an important part in the repatriation of seafarers stranded due to the pandemic, bringing home more than 150,000 marine personnel on hundreds of chartered and scheduled flights.
While the crew change situation globally has improved from earlier in the year shipping cannot afford to be complacent and still more needs to be done, according to senior industry representatives.
Shipping Australia is very concerned about the ongoing crisis caused by a lack of crew changes. Hundreds of thousands of people are trapped at sea and hundreds of thousands of people are waiting (without pay) to go to sea. It is a humanitarian...
The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) has welcomed a move by Australia that it will be ending a temporary exemption for vessels that have had seafarers onboard for more than 11 months.
The unexpected role transhipment hubs have played in trying to solve the crew change crisis was highlighted by Maersk during in a Seatrade Maritime News webinar this week.
Shipping experts have proposed to Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam that with chartered flights and cruise ships, crew change for ships can be done without seafarers coming into any contact with the public.
Singapore expects to conduct 500 to 600 crew changes per day in the coming months, with over 50,000 seafarers having signed on or off in the port since 27 March.
Intercargo has hit out over charterers preventing crew changes on dry bulk vessels with seafarers from certain Southeast Asian nations treated as “toxic”.
Panama has facilitated more than 11,000 crews changes between 19 March and 28 October this year.