EgyptAir Express considers new aircraft

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Published: June 5, 2012

EgyptAir Group is considering acquiring either Embraer E-190 or Bombardier CSeries aircraft for EgyptAir Express (MSE) as the subsidiary prepares to take over some African routes currently operated by parent EgyptAir (MS) using Boeing 737-500s. MSE operates 12 smaller E-170LRs.

MSE GM-planning Ehab Ghazy told the Airline Business Seminar (ABS) in Istanbul that the EgyptAir Group was studying both aircraft.

MS operates four 737-500s in a 104-seat, two-class configuration, mainly working African routes to destinations such as Khartoum, Asmara and Juba. However, Ghazy said the carrier is looking to move these routes to MSE after deciding the minimum size of aircraft in the mainline fleet should be around 140 seats.

In recent years, the group has turned to Embraer jets for both domestic services and on thin, short-range international routes such as Cairo-Budapest. It has also used Embraer aircraft to increase frequencies. Following the sharp drop in passenger numbers after the Egyptian revolution in early 2011, it moved some strategic short-haul routes to the E-170LR fleet to maintain frequencies and transferred non-strategic short-haul routes to the Brazilian aircraft to preserve market presence.

MSE expects Egyptian domestic air travel to expand substantially in the next few years. Despite a population of 80 million, there were only some 3 million domestic air passengers last year, largely due to the presence of an extensive rail network and Egyptians’ fondness for cars, said Ghazy.

Photo: EgyptAir tail. Courtesy, MS

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