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Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Egypt’s Nile Air shelves listing plans, scales back expansion due to covid-19

IPO WATCH- Nile Air shelves listing plans due to covid-19, long-term expansion plans in doubt: In another sign of the toll the coronavirus is exacting from the country’s aviation sector, Nile Air has abandoned plans to debut on the EGX this year and scaled back ambitions to upgrade the size of its fleet, the local press reports. A senior official painted a picture of a company in survival mode as it tries to support itself through a near two-month ban on international flights: “The company’s primary goal at the present time is to maintain continuity and remain in the aviation market,” they told the newspaper. The company, which is Egypt’s largest privately-owned airline, has delayed plans to add to its fleet, the official said, adding that its target of sizing up to 20 planes by 2023 is now in jeopardy. The revival of Egypt’s tourism sector in the years before the outbreak helped Nile Air turn a profit last year, and saw it operate some 20 regular flights to Egypt and neighbouring countries.

Gov’t support to the ailing aviation industry: The government has recently announced measures to support the hard-hit sector through the pandemic. This included a pledge earlier this month to doll out EGP 10 bn to aviation and other sectors from the administration’s EGP 100 bn covid-19 bailout package, tax relief, and a move by the central bank to allow airlines access to subsidized loans previously earmarked only for tourism companies.

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