Sunday, March 24, 2013

► EGYPT: Air Memphis sold to Rami Lakah; to launch charter flights to Iran "in coming weeks".

Air Memphis logoStruggling Egyptian charter carrier, Air Memphis (MHS), has been sold to French-Egyptian businessman, Raymond Lakah, (aka Rami Lakah) who intends to use the airline to début charter flights between upper Egypt and Iran it has emerged.

Air Memphis A320
Air Memphis A320 (Air Memphis)
Mr Lakah acquired Air Memphis' assets (including two unspecified aircraft - likely Airbus A320s) in mid March in a USD5million deal. The airline had been in the doldrums for some time owing to "the local recession".

Following an agreement between Egyptian Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou and Iranian officials in Tehran in February, Egyptian Minister of Civil Aviation Wael El-Maadawwy, announced that charter flights between the Egyptian cities of Luxor, Aswan, and Abu Simbel in Upper Egypt and Iran will begin "in the coming weeks," with flights to be operated by Mr Lakah's new airline.

Until the fall of Hosni Mubarak in the 2011 Egyptian Uprising, relations, let alone tourism, between Egypt and Iran had been almost non-existent since all bilateral contacts with Iran were severed following the events of  the 1979 Islamic Revolution.