EgyptAir says won’t hike ticket prices after resumption of flights

Egypt’s national carrier EgyptAir is not planning to hike ticket prices in the current period or after the coronavirus crisis is over, its chairman said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference, Roshdy Zakaria asserted that there would be no increase in fares, adding that such hikes would have been implemented if social distancing rules were applied, which the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has opposed.

Zakaria said recent reduction packages to boost inbound tourism upon the resumption of flights by July would allow for higher passenger turnout, leading to lower prices.

He also estimated occupancy rates at 20-30 percent upon the resumption of regular air traffic, if no spike in coronavirus infections is reported, with occupancy rates going up gradually to 50 percent by the end of 2020.

EgyptAir is currently operating flights to repatriate Egyptians abroad and has returned around 57,000 nationals since the outbreak. However, the national airline has operated limited flights to a few international destinations this month.

Earlier this week, Egypt announced it will introduce a number of incentives to encourage inbound tourism upon the gradual resumption of international flights. It said it would offer a 50 percent discount on landing and parking fees and a 20 percent discount on ground services in South Sinai, Hurghada, and Matrouh airports.

Zakaria said some trips would be combined in case of no demand, depending on booking rates, but it was too early to decide whether such a move would be made.

EgyptAir has opened booking for all European destinations it normally flies to, as well as the US, the Middle East, the Gulf, China and, in Africa, Sudan only, the Egyptian official said.

Egypt plans to gradually resume regular international flights at all its airports starting July 1, with exemptions for foreign tourists, who will only be allowed into three coastal governorates as part of tour groups, to help offset the Egypt’s tourism sector losses due to the pandemic.

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