By Abd Al-Razaq Al-Shawakhi
Financial reports recently released predict that the amount of investment to be pumped into Egyptian aviation companies during the coming fiscal year will increase 5.6%, with EGP 2.885bn set to be invested at the end of the year.
Gad Al-Karim Nasser, president of the Egyptian Airports Company, said that his company is set to obtain EGP 1bn as part of an international investment plan.
He said plans were in place to renovate Hurghada Airport at a cost of EGP 1.6bn, which will increase the facility’s capacity from 5.5 million passengers to 13.5 million annually.
Meanwhile the amount of money set to be allotted to Egypt’s Aviation Ministry will remain at EGP 21m for the coming year, in addition to EGP 28.6m for the country’s various service authorities, compared to EGP 37.5m having been set aside this year.
Aviation Minister Wael Al-Madawi said that it was unlikely the sector would acquire foreign loans this year due to a lack of progress made in Egypt’s negotiations with the International Monetary Fund.
He added that the number of planes in EgyptAir’s 2013 fleet would remain at 81, a number which has not increased in the two years since 10 new aircraft were added in 2011.
Al-Madawi recently tasked EgyptAir President Towfiq Asi with the responsibility for reviewing reports on the renovation of EgyptAir’s aircraft fleet, with sources adding that the company currently did not possess enough finances to purchase any additional aircraft or update its fleet.
Officials working on Egypt’s budget expected the amount of passengers leaving, arriving or passing through Egypt en route or in transit, to increase to 34.7 million passengers, compared to 33.5 million in 2012.
The number of passengers travelling through Egypt peaked in 2010, reaching 37.4 million before dropping to EGP 30.5m in 2011 and then increasing again in 2012 to 33.5 million.
Numbers from the current year are currently 12% lower than those in 2012, due to the drop in tourism rates seen after the outbreak of the 2011 revolution. Egypt’s Tourism Ministry expects 13 million tourists to arrive in Egypt in 2013, compared to 11.5 million the previous year, with Egyptian airlines also expecting a 3.5% increase in capacity rates.
Egyptian airports during the first quarter of the current fiscal year witnessed a 15.3% increase in passengers, host 4.5 million travellers as opposed to 3.9 million during the same time in 2012. These numbers peaked in 2010 when airports hosted 5.5 million travellers.
Sami Abd al-Manam, director of the Hurghada Airport, expected the flow of passengers into the airport to increase over the next year between 6% and 9% to 7 million passengers, as a result of recent increases in tourism. During 2012 the airport hosted 6.7 million travellers.
The Aviation Ministry expects 31 million passengers to travel in and out of the country over the next fiscal year via Egypt’s 10 international airports, with an average of 285.1 passengers per flight. These airports include those in Cairo, Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, Aswan, Luxor, Alexandria, Borg al-Arab, Asyut, Taba, and Marsa Matruh.
He further expected 655,000 travellers to pass through Egypt’s 9 domestic airports.
It was also stated that the Aviation Ministry’s priorities for the coming year will also include devising ways to increase air traffic while simultaneously cutting costs.