Tuesday, October 1, 2013

■ EGYPT: Egyptair's revenue has risen 60% on last year's numbers, Cairo Aerocity to get underway soon: Fadel

EgyptairEgyptair (MS) generated EGP20.7billion (USD3billion) in revenue for its latest 2012/2013 Financial Year, a rise of 63% on that recorded for 2011/2012, Egyptian Minister of Civil Aviation, Abdel Aziz Fadel, has announced. Speaking in Cairo outlining the current state of Egypt's civil aviation industry, Mr Fadel did however concede that, despite the rise in revenue, the airline was still struggling to turn a profit as it is saddled with EGP11.5billion (USD1.7billion) in debt.

According to Egypt's Daily News, Mr Fadel further expanded on previously announced plans to increase Egyptair's fleet with news that the national airline will retire 17 outdated medium-haul aircraft (unspecified but likely the A320s and A321s ) in the coming months and replace them with newer types whose improved fuel burn would help ease the airline's overheads. In the long term, Fadel sees Egyptair operating 120 aircraft by 2025 and 150 by 2050. 

New routes into West/Central Africa are also being studied, he said, among them Dakar, Kigali and Ndjamena.

Referring to the country's airports, Fadel said his ambition is to raise Egyptian airports' handling capacity from 30million pax/annum to 40 million come 2025, and 60 million by 2050. To achieve this, the Ministry has taken out a number of loans and has therefore accumulated large amounts of debt, exacerbated by increased risk seen in investing in the Egyptian economy, in addition to the country’s repeated credit downgrades.

With various new projects underway in Cairo, Borg El-Arab, Hurghada and Sharm el Sheikh, Fadel said Cairo Airport's much vaunted Aerotroplis project, dubbed Cairo Aerocity,  will launch with the first stage of the project to begin within the coming months after the conclusion of an international tender.

He added that the Ministry had also concluded studies regarding the Geostationary Satellite NAVISAT Project whose objective is to provide satellite-based air navigation and safety communication services over Africa and Middle East region.
We are searching for both foreign and domestic funders for the project, which is expected to cost a total of $800m. We expect the project to bring in a total of 4bn in returns by 2029.
He stated that the Civil Aviation Ministry was coordinating with the ministries of Tourism and Antiquities to help revive the tourism sector and bring rates back to those previously seen in 2010. The Ministry was attempted to sweeten the deal by offering airlines various new incentives, among which is the removal of all landing and waiting fees for aircraft at the Luxor, Aswan, Assiut and Abu Simbel airports. A similar 50% decrease in such fees has also been provided to companies whose aircraft land at Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada, Taba and Marsa Matruh airports.