Monday, May 27, 2013

■■ EGYPT: Cairo International Airport shelves plans to partially close in the early hours from June onwards in bid to cut costs.

Cairo International Airport logo[UPDATE 27 MAY] From 1 June onwards, Cairo International Airport, one of the Middle East's most important aviation hubs, is to partially close during the early morning hours in a bid to reduce soaring costs as the Egyptian government struggles to pay its ever increasing power bills.

Cairo International Airport
Cairo International Airport (CAI)
In a press conference in Cairo last week, Egyptian Minister of Civil Aviation, Wael al-Maddawy,  said that from June onwards, Cairo International would close two runways between 01h30L until 05h30L, with a third (likely 05R/23L) to remain operational for any arriving or departing flights.

Mr. al-Maddawy said that airport revenues were not enough to cover the costs of keeping all three runways open 24 hours a day.
"The decision came after detailed study on the rate of work that had witnessed a huge reduction (in traffic) in the past two years," he added.
Source [Reuters]

Germany's Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide currently holds the concession to manage Cairo International Airport.

Egypt's Oil Ministry last week admitted it does not have money to buy enough fuel for all of its power stations. Fuel-laden ships are docked at Egyptian ports but have not unloaded their cargo because there are no funds, it added.

Neighbour Libya, itself rebuilding after the Arab Spring, is rumoured to be in the process of depositing USD2billion into the Egyptian Central Bank to support the economy, which has so far suffered from sliding currency reserves, falling tourism and a soaring budget deficit.

[UPDATE 27 MAY] According to the Agence France-Press (AFP), the Chairman of Egypt’s Airports Holding Co, Magdi Abdul Hadi, has said plans to shut runways at Cairo International at night have been shelved temporarily.
The idea is still under study. It will not be implemented until such time as appropriate conditions are in place that will not negatively affect passengers, airlines and the airport authority,” said Abdul Hadi. 
Separately, an airports official said the idea was "costly, unprofitable and difficult to implement."