Minister of Civil Aviation Wael al-Maddawy said that EgyptAir’s losses since the January 2011 revolution have reached over LE6 billion.
Maddawy added that LE650 million of the total losses could be attributed to the slide of the pound against the US dollar.
During a meeting of the Shura Council Transportation Committee Monday, Maddawy said, “EgyptAir’s losses are huge, but not catastrophic, [as they won’t] lead to the closure or selling of the company.”
Maddawy added that the company has 32,000 employees, but that only 12,000 are needed to run the company and that there was a surplus of 20,000. He also said, however, that social circumstances do not allow layoffs, and said that instead the company should reconsider keeping its offices abroad open.
The ministry is currently handling the airline’s losses through a committee that includes two American University of Cairo professors and the vice governor of the Central Bank and is headed by the company chief.
Maddawy said that the country’s airports had gained LE534 million in profits in 2012, adding that the airports have to pay LE700 million in fees to the Finance Ministry, as well as its own investments and LE200 million in taxes.
According to Maddawy, passengers are down after the revolution, at 15 million in 2012 compared to 18 million before January 2011. He added that while airports in Sharm al-Sheikh, Hurghada, Luxor, Aswan and Burg al-Arab are profitable, the country has 12 that have sustained heavy losses, including three in New Valley.
However, Maddawy said that airports such as the one at Port Said didn’t shut down even during the recent violence, saying that the ministry had turned down offers from companies to rent the airport at a high price.
“I reject such offers. I realize the importance of such an airport in the upcoming period, especially with the start of the Suez Canal Development project,” he said.
Edited translation from MENA