Sunday, March 17, 2013

■ EGYPT: Egyptair losses total $880million since 2011 Revolution: al-Maddawy.

EgyptairEgypt's Minister of Civil Aviation, Wael al-Maddawy, says Egyptian national carrier, Egyptair (MS), has posted continuous losses of USD880million (EGP6billion) since the 2011 Egyptian revolution which lead to the fall of then president, Hosni Mubarak, and his regime.

According to the Middle Eastern News Agency, during a meeting last week of the Shura Council Transportation Committee, al-Maddawy noted that, of the USD6billion in losses posted, USD96million (EGP650million) were attributed to a dramatic decline in the Egyptian Pound/US dollar exchange rate, which since January 2011, has devalued more than 20%. Mr al-Maddawy was adamant, however, that the losses, while "huge", were not catastrophic and would not lead to the closure of the airline, nor would any of Egyptair's 32'000 staff be laid off.

He emphasised that, owing to the prevailing "social circumstances" in Egypt, Egyptair, as a 100% state-owned company, would not resort to mass lay offs to improve its bottom line, despite the carrier's 32'000-strong workforce being bloated with 20'000 surplus employees.

A committee has been set up to oversee the airline's finances and consists of two professors from the American University of Cairo, the vice governor of the Egyptian Central Bank and Egyptair CEO Captain Tawfik Assy.