EgyptAir hopeful of speedy recovery

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ankara - EgyptAir, the national carrier of the politically troubled North African nation, has sustained a few knocks following the turmoil that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.

Ahmed Massoud, chairperson of EgyptAir Holding Company, said their income has dropped 80 percent since unrest broke out. Massoud, however, is hopeful that the country will achieve stability and EgyptAir will recover the lost ground before the winter schedule this year. 

For Massoud the worst day for Africa's largest airline was "day one of the crisis, when we had to stop all flights and a curfew was imposed." 

Massoud told Turkey's Anadolu Agency and other media that the ongoing crisis in the Arab world would have an adverse effect on aviation in the region - but they were revising their schedules to fit with the situation. 

"We are affected but we hope to go back to normal volume of traffic before the summer season ends, before the winter schedule." 

He said EgyptAir was strategically positioned as the hub of air traffic between Africa, Europe and the Middle East, and this would help them recover quickly. 

"Everything depends on the political situation. If we get a democratic model of government like in Western countries, then Egypt will get more investment, more development and in fact - the whole crisis will be our strong point to grow more. EgyptAir will benefit from this as well." 

Clarifying the company's position on media reports - based on a leaked internal memo - that EgyptAir would lease its aircraft to other airlines due to the crisis, the chairperson said it was one of the options they were considering to deal with excess capacity should they be unable to fly.

However, a decision was not yet made. Massoud added that due to the political situation in Libya, they had to carry out 176 flights from Libyan and Tunisian airports within the last week, evacuating nearly 40 000 mostly Egyptian people. - BuaNews-Anadolu