EgyptAir Scales Back Flights, Fleet Expansion After Losses Mount

Egypt Air said it will scale back its flight frequencies to focus on the most viable connections, and will review plans to order more planes as losses mount.

The reductions will amount to 10 percent of capacity on its network, and Egypt Air will concentrate on profitable routes in the Middle East, EgyptAir Holding Co. Chief Executive Officer Sameh El Hefny said at the annual meeting of the International Air Transport Association in Qatar yesterday.

The airline carried 9 million passengers last year and had a load factor, a measure of occupancy, of 62 percent. The carrier will probably report a loss of 2.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($350 million) in the fiscal year ending June 31, Hefny said. It has accumulated 5 billion pounds of debt in the last two years.

The state-owned carrier had previously said it plans to have a fleet of 125 planes by 2025, Hefny said. The airline has a fleet of 81 aircraft, and its biggest market is Saudi Arabia.

Egyptian tourist revenue is set to grow to $9 billion this year from $5.8 billion in 2013, Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou said in an interview last month. The government is targeting 25 million tourists and $25 billion in revenue by 2020, he said.

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