EgyptAir says it has received its fifth Airbus A320Neo from France amid the gradual reopening of air traffic at all airports starting Wednesday.
Roshdy Zakaria, chairman of the national carrier, said the sixth jet of the same model would arrive next week out of a total eight A320Neo jets contracted by EgyptAir, as well as seven other A321Neo jets set to join the carrier’s fleet later.
Zakaria said that EgyptAir is committed to its plan to modernise its fleet despite challenges seen by the sector globally due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With the operation of the newly-received aircraft, EgyptAir becomes the first company to operate both the Airbus A320Neo and Airbus A220 modern aircraft in its fleet in the Middle East and Africa.
Bringing all the standards of comfort and incorporating new engine choices, aerodynamic improvements, and the latest cabin features, the A320Neo Family will offer up to 20 percent savings in fuel burn per seat by 2020, two tons of additional payload, and 500 nautical miles of more range.
Its operating costs are lower, along with a nearly 50 percent reduction in engine noise and NOx emissions 50 percent below the current industry standard.
Wednesday’s announcement came as Egypt, in a bid to offset losses by the sector, reopened its airports for international flights for the first time in more than three months since a flight suspension was put in place over the coronavirus.
EgyptAir has said it is due to operate 14 international flights carrying around 2,000 passengers from Cairo International Airport on Wednesday.
The air travel sector’s losses, which amount to billions of Egyptian pounds, have pushed private and national airlines to seek government aid.
EgyptAir has started talks with the National Bank of Egypt and Banque du Caire on a EGP 3 billion loan, with the deal set to be finalised this month.
The loan aims to help the carriers repay external loans in the coming months amid a stall in revenues due to the crisis, Zakaria said in earlier press statements, estimating losses by the company at EGP 3 billion since the outbreak began.