EgyptAir in talks to defer A330-300 deliveries

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EgyptAir has held discussions with Airbus with a view to deferring some of its A330-300 deliveries to stabilise its operations.

It is also postponing the launch of new long-haul services to Toronto and Washington.

The flag carrier took delivery of the first of five Rolls-Royce Trent-powered A330-300s last August, having brought forward their introduction.

But the airline is battling with a slump in traffic and revenues following the anti-government protests that started towards the end of January.

EgyptAir holding company chairman Hussein Massoud says that the carrier had held discussions with Airbus over the A330 deliveries.

He says the talks have centred on pushing back their arrival by "about three or four months".

EgyptAir received the fifth of six Boeing 777-300ERs about a week ago, and the airline had intended to open routes to Toronto and Washington using the type in May.

But Massoud says the routes will be postponed, adding: "We don't think we can do it during summer. We're hoping for recovery before the winter schedule, and we'll do our best to start [these routes] in the winter schedule."

EgyptAir does not believe the crisis will affect delivery of four outstanding Boeing 737-800s towards the end of 2012.

Massoud says the revenue situation at the airline is "much better than a month ago" but the carrier has been adjusting its summer timetable and does not expect normality to return before the winter season.

He has also stressed that the airline is not interested in the Airbus A380, insisting that the aircraft type is too large for its operations.

EgyptAir holding company chairman Hussein Massoud says that the airline is examining the Airbus A350 and the Boeing 787 as part of its fleet planning for 2015 and 2020.

But he says the A380 is too large for the carrier's routes. "Airbus tried to bring this idea to us," he says. "But I don't think it's suitable for using on [our] long-haul routes, with [capacity for] 550 passengers, not on a network the size of EgyptAir's."