Maersk still plans to return to Red Sea route after Houthi attack, but in reduced capacity

Denmark’s Maersk still plans to sail more than 30 container vessels through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea in the time ahead despite a weekend attack on one of its ships in the area, a company schedule released last night shows.

But Maersk also puts on hold plans for some vessels to use the Red Sea route amid the continued risk of attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, saying it will announce the itinerary for each ship at a later time.

Maersk on Sunday paused all Red Sea sailings for 48 hours following attempts by the Houthis to board its Maersk Hangzhou vessel, although US military helicopters ultimately repelled the attack and killed 10 members of the Iran-backed group.

On December 24, Maersk said it was preparing a near-complete return to the Red Sea, citing the deployment of a US-led military operation to protect vessels after the Houthis launched more than 20 attacks on vessels passing through the Red Sea shipping route.

After the weekend attack, however, a detailed comparison of Maersk’s latest itinerary with one released last week shows that the company has put on hold plans for at least 17 vessels to travel through the Red Sea. New plans will be announced at a later time, the company says.

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