EgyptAir group is bouncing back and returning to growth, buoyed by good indicators. It announced a profit of more than $31 million for the first half of fiscal year 2022-23.
“Egyptair did not lay off any workers or members of its teams during the pandemic. We have been focusing on restoring our operation very fast and efficiently. We are recovering with a focus on the serviceability and availability of our aircraft as well as the expansion of our network “, said Yehia Zakaria who has been piloting one of the largest aviation groups in Africa since October 2022.
Like other airlines, Egyptair is also facing aircraft availability issues while manufacturers are battling to keep production lines going. Suppliers are urging clients to place early orders as the systemic problem in part shortages persists.
Egyptair has a well-defined fleet expansion and improvement strategy to support its route development plan. The airline’s ambition is to bring to 96 the number of destinations, including Europe and Latin America (Brazil and Argentina in partnership with tour operator Master Flights), against 72 today. The New York route will also be enhanced.
Two B787 Dreamliners will join the national carrier’s fleet by end-2023.
Last February, the airline became the first African operator of the A321neo out of the seven aircraft ordered. This acquisition will enable Egyptair to enhance its efficiency, reduce operating costs, meet its commitment to sustainability and face competition, while fueling its expansion plan.
“We have published a Request for Proposal (RFP) for ten widebodies. We are also negotiating to acquire narrowbodies according to availability. We are looking for permanent solutions regarding plane acquisition and engineering as there are supply chain problems. We have to make fast decisions. Time is a very critical issue”, added Zakaria.
Egyptair has a very ambitious plan to expand its routes including Manchester in July 2023. It resumed flights to China (Beijing /Guangzhou and Hangzhou) after a three-year hiatus.
“There is a lot of potential in China as the country is getting back. We are thinking about Shanghai. As for India, we already fly to Mumbai, we will now add Delhi to our network. ”
The national carrier of Egypt fully supports cooperation and partnerships between African airlines through AFRAA and its membership within the Star Alliance.
“We are IOSA certified and provide maintenance services with international standards not only to the Egyptair, Air Cairo and Nile Air fleets, but also to other airlines such as Qatar Airways. We work with 136 airlines worldwide” said Yehia Zakaria.’
Despite significant headwinds during recent years, Egyptair will not be privatised, Yehia Zakaria recently told CNN. “ Egyptair is the flag carrier and the only bird carrying the flag of Egypt all over the world,” Zakaria said. He underlined that the airline “is not for sale”.
Egyptair seems to be on the right track to cut losses stemming from the effects of the pandemic and return to profitability.