United Arab Emirates (UAE) hub carrier, Emirates Airline is to increase its presence in the Egyptian market by increasing frequencies into the North African country by just over a fifth. The airline will introduce three additional weekly rotations between Dubai and Cairo from January 1, 2016, increasing its schedule to 17 return flights each week.
Emirates started operations to Cairo in April 1986 with three flights a week. Operations have steadily grown with increases in both frequency and capacity between Cairo and Dubai to match demand. The additional flights will boost the number of connection options that Emirates offers to passengers heading into or from Egypt’s capital city, to destinations in the Middle East, Asia and Americas.
The airline currently operates a double daily service between its Dubai International Airport hub and Cairo International Airport using Boeing 777-300ER equipment. The three new weekly rotations will be operated using a smaller Airbus A330-200, offering 12 seats in First Class, 42 in Business Class and 183 in Economy.
“We are delighted to be able to grow our business in Cairo, on the back of commercial demand and great customer support. In the past eight years, the route has carried over 2.7 million passengers and moved over 200,000 tons of cargo,” said Adil Al Ghaith, Senior Vice President Commercial Operations for Northern and Western Africa, Emirates Airline.
“We anticipate that our additional capacity will stimulate further growth in both tourism and business traffic on the route.”Adil Al Ghaith
Senior Vice President Commercial Operations for Northern and Western Africa, Emirates Airline
Cairo is a very popular destination for both business and leisure travellers, and is a gateway to many of the country’s major tourist attractions such as the Giza pyramids, the Great Sphinx, the ancient temples of Luxor dating back thousands of years and many more.
“We anticipate that our additional capacity will stimulate further growth in both tourism and business traffic on the route,” added Al-Ghaith.
In addition to the increased passenger capacity, the extra frequencies will allow Emirates SkyCargo to carry an additional 17 tons of cargo per trip including perishables, automotive spare parts, pharmaceutical products, and personal effects as well as electronics.
An estimated 382,000 passengers flew on Emirates’ flights between Dubai and Cairo in 2014, a market that is also served directly on an up to three times daily basis by EgyptAir. Analysis of MIDT data shows that local traffic accounted for a 54.2 per cent share of the total Emirates demand on the route last year.
A further 44 per cent connected via Dubai International Airport, with the remaining 1.8 per cent connecting in Cairo International Airport or bridge traffic connecting at both ends of the route. The largest behind and beyond markets at Dubai International Airport comprised Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Shanghai, China; Doha, Qatar and Seoul Incheon, South Korea.
Looking at annual seat capacity versus segment demand, estimated load factor in this market has now risen for four consecutive years from a low of 52.4 per cent in 2011 (due to the Arab Spring and January 25 Revolution) to 76.2 per cent last year, its highest level since 2008. Last year, capacity on the route fell 3.8 per cent (from a record high of over one million two-way seats in 2013), but estimated segment demand rose 1.0 per cent, surpassing the 750,000 annual passengers for the first time.