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Monday, 22 March 2021

EgyptAir looks to Africa — as an investor

EgyptAir is planning to expand to Ghana and Sudan in the coming months, company CEO Roshdy Zakaria told the press, Bloomberg reports. The company will hold 75% in a new airline dubbed Ghana Air, which it will provide with four Boeing aircraft. EgyptAir is also considering establishing a transport hub with Sudan Airways, Zakaria said. Setting up shop directly in Africa is the company’s “main goal” at the moment, Zakaria said, adding that an Africa hub will give Egyptair the ability to expand to new destinations.

EgyptAir may also take over the only flight service to Israel, currently operated by AirSinai between Cairo and Tel Aviv, Zakaria said, giving no further detail.

The company hopes passenger volumes will recover to at least 75% of their pre-pandemic levels this year, Zakaria said, with traffic currently at 40-50%.

This comes as EgyptAir seeks an additional EGP 5-7 bn in government assistance to sustain its operations following covid-19 induced losses, Zakaria said. The company has already received EGP 5 bn in funding. First, from an EGP 2 bn Finance Ministry facility that will see the government service the carrier’s debt until its operating capacity reaches 80% of 2019 levels, followed by an additional EGP 3 bn lifeline provided by the National Bank of Egypt and Banque du Caire. EgyptAir had been losing around EGP 600-700k per month, Zakaria told talk show hosts last September, with the airline sustaining losses of EGP 3 bn in 2Q2020.

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