New Egyptair CEO Sees Fleet Modernization As Top Priority

Yehia Zakaria
Yehia Zakaria is now chairman and CEO of Egyptair Holdings.
Credit: Egyptair Holdings

After being announced as the new chairman and CEO of Egyptair Holdings on Oct. 12, Yehia Zakaria has laid out the main challenges facing the 90-year-old flag carrier.

“We are racing against time to cope with the changes in the industry and we are working on developing a work plan for the next phase,” says Zakaria, who has taken the role after a 10-month spell as chairman of Egyptair Maintenance & Engineering. 

“Our main concern is fleet modernization to meet our customers’ expectation, especially under the high travel demand,” Zakaria says.

Aviation Week Network’s Fleet Discovery database shows Egyptair has seven Airbus A321neos on firm order, plus options for 12 A220-300s. The airline has eight new-generation A320neos in its fleet along with six Boeing 787-9s. Regional subsidiary Egyptair Express has 10 A220-300s, but otherwise its aircraft are older, including three A330-200s, four A330-300s, three A320-200s, 28 737-800s and six 777-300ERs. Of the A220s, seven are in storage along with Egyptair Express’ seven Embraer E170LRs.

Egypt is seeing high air traffic to its tourist sites during the post-pandemic recovery, which Egyptair management says is prompting it to work faster on gradually modernizing the Star Alliance carrier’s fleet.

Egyptair says it wants to increase its total seat capacity, boost its share of transit passengers via its Cairo International Airport hub, and add more destinations, including expanding into new markets.

“We are currently in the process of adding around 25 new destinations to our network, considering our studies and customer needs,” Zakaria says. Egyptair currently operates flights to more than 70 destinations across some 60 countries.

Egyptair is also interested in expanding in the cargo market, making the most of its geographic location close to where Africa meets the Middle East. 

The new CEO mentioned sustainable development and increasing the frequency of green flights remains important. “I am confident the new path will lead to the desired profitability,” he adds.

Kurt Hofmann

Kurt Hofmann has been writing on the airline industry for 25 years. He appears frequently on Austrian, Swiss and German television and broadcasting…