Egypt's aviation sector lost around EGP 1 bln monthly during flight suspension: Official
Ahram Online, , Thursday 2 Jul 2020

Egypt's aviation sector lost up to EGP 1 billion monthly since March on the back of the three-month flight suspension due to the coronavirus, the deputy civil aviation minister told local television on Thursday.

The country reopened its international airspace on Wednesday, with some new restrictions in force.

Deputy Civil Aviation Minister Montaser Manaa said the state had greatly supported the sector during this period.

He added that the occupancy rate on aircraft had reached 95 percent in the past two days, and is expected to increase in the coming period.

The aviation sector recovers rapidly, he added, citing the high numbers of reservations since the reopening.

Foreign tourists are now allowed to visit three coastal tourist hotspots: South Sinai, where the popular seaside resort of Sharm El-Sheikh is located, the Red Sea governorate, home to the city of Hurghada, and Marsa Matrouh on the Mediterranean.

Flights coming from Switzerland and Belarus arrived in Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh on Thursday.

In an attempt to lure foreign tourists, the country has exempted tourists visiting these areas from visa fees until the end of October.

National carrier EgyptAir is also offering a 20 percent discount on flights to several European destinations, and on tickets to New York and Washington bought by 15 July for flights until the end of August.

The country also announced a number of new health and safety measures, including requiring travellers from countries with high rates of coronavirus infections to submit PCR test results before travelling to prove they are coronavirus-free, amid other health protocols on board.

Egypt has allowed over 400 hotels nationwide to reopen at a reduced occupancy rate of 50 percent after they met hygiene and safety protocols, according to the tourism ministry.