Monday, June 10, 2013

■ EGYPT: Egyptair's losses to narrow by 57% during this financial year; EHCAAN's profits to rise 15% - El-Maadawy.

EgyptairEgyptian Minister of Civil Aviation, Engineer Wael El-Maadawy, has announced that Egyptian national carrier, EgyptAir (MS), is expected to see an improvement in its business climate with losses for the current 2012/13 fiscal year decreasing 57% compared to last year. Additionally, the Egyptian Holding Company for Airports and Air Navigation (EHCAAN) is expected to see a 15% rise in its profits on the back of the increased use of Egyptian airports as transit points.

Engineer El-Maadawy Egypt
Engineer El-Maadawy
In a statement, Engineer El-Maadawy said Egyptair's losses for the current financial year would "be less than USD214million (EGP1.5billion) compared to USD428million (EGP3billion)" posted in the last fiscal year, but did not give any operational updates.

Since the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, Egyptair has struggled to return to profitability posting nearly USD880million in cumulative losses, mostly due to a downturn in tourism and a bloated workforce of 32'000.

On a more positive note, he said that the Egyptian Holding Company for Airports and Air Navigation's (EHCAAN) profits are expected to reach more than  USD85million (EGP600million) during the current fiscal year after it reached USD74.9million (EGP524million) last year. 

Engineer El-Maadawy said the increase had come about following a rise in the number of transit passengers to one million passengers attributed to the closure of Syrian and Libyan airspace. Overall, the Ministry is aiming to increase the number of transit passengers to 20 million passengers this year leading to an anticipated increase in revenue at Cairo Airport Company of USD300million annually. 

However, despite the positive outlook, the aviation sector in Egypt has witnessed an escalation in disputes over salaries during the past weeks after workers at Cairo, Hurghada and Borg al-Arab airports staged protests. The most recent, at Cairo International, saw 15 workers sacked and 30 others suspended by the Minister after they had staged a strike on a runway last week to press the management to settle a pay dispute. The strike cost the airport an estimated USD430'000 (EGP3million) in lost revenue.