Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Egypt's new international airport to open in July 2022

Written by Frédéric Dubessy on Friday, May 20th 2022 à 18:10 | Read 1496 times

The new airport will allow to decongest the one of Cairo (photo: Egyptian Presidency)
The new airport will allow to decongest the one of Cairo (photo: Egyptian Presidency)
EGYPT. According to the Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation, the country's new international airport will be operational by mid-July 2022. Named Sphinx International, it is located on the desert road between Cairo and Alexandria, forty-five kilometres from the pyramids of Giza. With a surface area of 4,000 m² for its main building (24,000 m² for the whole building), it will be mainly dedicated to tourism.

Its two terminals will be able to handle up to 900 passengers per hour (compared to 300 initially announced before an extension of the project) for an annual capacity of the airport of 1.2 million passengers per year. The platform will have a 3,650 metre long, sixty metre wide runway with a tarmac that can accommodate eight aircraft.

The aim of Sphinx International is to relieve the congestion at Cairo International Airport (13 million passengers before the Covid-19 crisis), based on the other side of the city, and the traffic in the capital. But also to improve the accessibility of several nearby historical sites for tourists, including the new Great Egyptian Museum of Giza (GEM) soon to be inaugurated, on the outskirts of Greater Cairo. In addition, its arrival will facilitate connections with the Red Sea resorts (Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada in particular).

A new airline, Air Sphinx, a subsidiary of Egypt Air, should moreover be created and based on the new platform. It will serve Aswan, Hurghada, Luxor and Sharm el-Sheikh. Air Sphinx will offer fifteen flights per week to bring tourists from other regions of the country directly to the tourist sites of Giza.

Another airport planned in North Cairo

The Egyptian government had announced in October 2017 that it would open in summer 2018, after twelve months of work and an investment of 300 million Egyptian pounds (€16m). It only started its first test flights in January 2019, with domestic destinations with EgyptAir Express to Hurghada, Sharm el-Sheikh, Luxor and Aswan. It was not until 1 January 2020 that the first international flight touched down with 104 passengers on board. It was operated by Fly Jordan. But since March 2021, no other scheduled flights have been scheduled.

Sphinx International becomes the thirty-third Egyptian airport. Another one should be built further north near the country's new capital, New Cairo, which has been under construction for twenty years, fifteen kilometres from Maadi in the desert.
Egypt currently has four international airports: Cairo, Hurghada, Sharm el-Sheikh and Alexandria (Borg El Arab).

After being hit by the consequences of Covid-19, tourism revenues have fallen from $987m (€936m) in 2020 to $3bn (€2.85bn) in the last three months of 2021.

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