EgyptAir eyes EGP 3 billion loan from two state lenders to weather coronavirus crisis

Egypt’s national carrier EgyptAir is seeking a 3 billion Egyptian pound ($185 million) loan to help it weather the coronavirus crisis, the chairman of the state holding company that owns the airline announced on Tuesday.

The crisis has driven Egypt to shutter all its airports to most commercial traffic in mid-March, costing EgyptAir 3 billion pounds in lost revenue a month, Chairman Roshdy Zakaria said in a press conference.

Zakaria said procedures for obtaining the loan from the state-owned National Bank of Egypt (NBE) and Banque Misr should be finished by next month.

EgyptAir will use the funds to pay $12 million in instalments on foreign loans it had taken out to finance the purchase of new aircraft, he added.

The national airline had expected to take delivery of seven new aircraft in May but will now start receiving the first by next month, Zakaria said.

It has delayed leasing payments on some aircraft already in its possession by three months and others by six months, he explained.

Zakaria said EgyptAir is set to operate at 20-30 percent capacity when it resumes flights at the beginning of July and at 50 perccent by the end of the year, providing that coronavirus cases do not spike.

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