Egyptian Airports To Start Reopening For International Business

Credit: Cairo International Airport / Facebook

Egypt has announced a cautious reopening of its airports to international scheduled traffic on July 1, as the country attempts to jump-start its important tourism sector after closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

However, the civil aviation minister, Mohamed Manar Enaba, set out a series of conditions when making his announcement at a press conference June 14. 

Travelers arriving from countries with high rates of coronavirus infections will have to undergo tests for the virus before flying to Egypt, he told local media. And tourists coming from abroad will be restricted to resorts in three coastal provinces: Red Sea, South Sinai and Matrouh. The Red Sea coast, with its beach resorts, is a particularly popular destination for European vacationers.

These three areas have been chosen as they have the country’s lowest coronavirus infection rates. The COVID-19 pandemic has had severe effects on Egypt’s labor-intensive tourism industry, which accounts for 5% of the country’s economic output,  or an estimated 15% if employment and investment indirectly related to the sector are counted.

Enaba added that, as with most airlines, aircraft have been thoroughly disinfected and limited service—dry meals and canned drinks—will be provided to passengers. 

Domestic services have continued to operate in Egypt throughout the pandemic. 

Earlier this month, the Egyptian media reported a stimulus package to encourage airlines to restore services: reduced landing and ground services fees, the easing of visa requirements for visitors to destination provinces and discounts on tickets to museums and historical sites.

Alan Dron

Based in London, Alan is Europe & Middle East correspondent at Air Transport World.