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Cairo airport officials deny 55% decline in air traffic

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DPA’s sources said the canceling companies included Middle East Airlines, Kenya Airways, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Kuwait Airways and EgyptAir

Cairo Intertnational Airport AFP PHOTO

Cairo International Airport officials have denied reports by Dutch news agency DPA that passenger traffic at Cairo International Airport fell an alarming 55% during the past few weeks of unrest.
(AFP PHOTO)

Cairo International Airport officials have denied reports by Dutch news agency DPA that passenger traffic at Cairo International Airport fell an alarming 55% during the past few weeks of unrest.

According to DPA, traffic fell to “its lowest ever,” which pushed six airlines to cancel their flights to and from Cairo, calling it “profitless.”

DPA’s sources said the canceling companies included Middle East Airlines, Kenya Airways, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Kuwait Airways and EgyptAir.

The deputy head of the hotels chamber, Hani El-Saher, said the cancellation rate for reservations at hotels and resorts had reached 35% on the eve of the 30 June protests.

PR director of Cairo International Airport Ahmed Saleh denied the decrease. “55 % is a horrible decrease, and there is no withdrawal in number of passengers,” he said. “We are functioning properly, especially since we are in the Umrah [minor pilgrimage] season”.

Saleh did however note “some decline” in the volume of foreign arrivals in Cairo, largely due to widespread government travel warnings in light of Egypt’s current unrest.

In early July, sources at Cairo Airport said the number of passengers at most airports in Egypt has decreased. The airports were approximately 55% to 70% full.

Violence and unrest hammered flights to Egypt ahead of the 30 June protests, with the country’s airports raising their alert level to “high” when protesters planned to demonstrate against former president Mohamed Morsi.

However, on 8 July, following the Republican Guard headquarters clashes, the airport’s press office asserted that the flight schedule had been “unaffected by the violence.”

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Hend El-Behary

Hend El-Behary

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