Egypt doubles airport capacity of Red Sea tourist hub

Ahram Online , Wednesday 17 Dec 2014

The expansion project cost LE2.4 billion and is in line with the predicted rise in tourist numbers

Hurghada Airport (Photo: Ahram).

The Egyptian government has finished upgrading the airport in the resort town of Hurghada, as part of a national airport expansion plan aimed to catch up with growing visitors to the country.

The airport in Hurghada, a major tourist hub on the coast of the red sea, will now be able to accommodate 13 million passengers annually, aviation minister Houssam Kamal said on Wednesday as he inaugurated the expansion according to a report by state-run news agency MENA.

Egypt plans to expand its airport capacity to 75 million passengers annually, as the country expects to receive 55 million visitors by 2020, he added.

The expansion project cost LE2.4 billion ($335 million) and was financed by the Arab Fund for Economic Development and a consortium of domestic banks led by the national bank of Egypt, Kamal explained. 

Egypt's LE49 billion tourism industry was hit hard by political turmoil following the 2011 popular uprising that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak. The number of tourists visiting Egypt in 2013 fell from an all-time high of 14.7 million in 2010 to 9.5 million. 

The industry, however, has shown signs of recovery following the election of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in July on a mandate to restore security and stability. The number of tourists to Egypt rose by a 193 percent last September compared to the same month in 2013, according to the latest official figures.

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