Transportation networks on São Tomé and Príncipe reflect the plantation economy. There were approximately 320 km (199 mi) of roadways in 2002. Surfaced roads, about 218 km (135 mi), serve principally to bring export crops to the port towns; schooners are the main means of transportation for people living far from town. São Tomé and Santo António are the main ports; large freighters must be unloaded from their anchorage by barge because the ports are not deep enough to accommodate them. The Merchant Marine reported 41 ships totaling 169,991 GRT in 2002.
In 2001. there were two airports, both with paved runways. The international airport at São Tomé is serviced principally by the Angolan airline Transportes Aéreos de Angola, although Transportes Aéreos Portugueses and Aeroflot make occasional stops. Equatorial Airline of São Tomé and Príncipe, a government joint venture with a private European airline, flies to Príncipe and Libreville, Gabon. In 2001, 35,100 passengers were carried on scheduled domestic and international flights.