EgyptAir is expecting its traffic to return to pre-revolution levels next year though must rests on a recovery of tourism to the country.
Last year, the Egyptian flag carrier transported around nine million passengers, about a third less than the 14 million travellers it had before the civil unrest began in late 2010. Load factors fell from almost 80% to 65%, says chief executive Hossam Kamal. Operations continue to make losses, he says, but the deficits are getting smaller.
Business should return to the 2010 level over the next 6-12 months, says Kamal. This will largely depend on tourists returning to the country. Travel warnings for certain holiday resorts, such as Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh, have been suspended by European countries. But for other destinations, such as Luxor, they remain in place. Complete removal of the warnings will be key for the recovery, he says.
However, new routes are also being established to support the return to profitability. EgyptAir is introducing, for example, flights to Los Angeles via Paris, while new services to Toronto, Manchester and Harare were opened in June.
The Star Alliance carrier is also evaluating potential partnerships with other airlines. Kamal says that the discussions are “not yet” at a stage for an equity partnership, which Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways has pursued with other operators. However, EgyptAir is studying co-operation with Middle Eastern operators, he says.