EgyptAir to add 33 new planes to its fleet, part of wider strategy aiming at 150 aircraft

Hadeer El-Mahdawy , Sunday 22 Oct 2017

The new acquisitions, costing $3.4 billion, will be partly funded by the airline's existing budget, but will also make use of funding from Egyptian banks and a 'capacity rental system' involving other companies

Egypt Air
An Egypt Air plane (Photo: Reuters)

EgyptAir is to boost its fleet with the purchase of 33 new passenger jets, the airline's chairman Safwat Mosalam said in a press statement on Sunday.

The new purchases will include a range of aircraft suitable for short-, medium- and long-distance journeys, in line with the company's expansion strategy, Mosalem said.

The planned purchase of 33 aircraft will cost almost EGP 60 billion ($3.4 billion), a source from the company told Ahram Online.

No schedule or time-frame has yet been settled for the new purchases, the source said, but work has begun on securing the necessary finances.

"Funding the new planes will not only depend on the company's existing budget," the source told Ahram Online.

"The company has sold some of its old planes to finance the new deal, and Egyptian banks will participate. Also, some international companies will contribute through the capacity rental system, which means those companies will buy planes and EgyptAir will rent them."

The new purchase plan is part of a broader strategy that aims at building a fleet of 150 planes by 2025, the source said.

EgyptAir took one step closer to realising that goal on Saturday, with the delivery of its eighth Boeing plane as part of a 2016 $1 billion (EGP 18 million) deal to buy nine planes from the manufacturer.

The final aircraft in that deal is expected to be delivered by the end of this year, increasing the EgyptAir fleet to 68.

The 85-year-old airline has faced several challenges over the past few years, including disappointing financial results.

In May, Egypt's civil-aviation minister announced that the company had lost around $777 million since 2011, but it is now seeking to turn its fortunes around.

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