Passenger, flight activity expected to rise starting June

Egypt's passenger numbers and flight activity are predicted to start increasing slowly from June, said Civil Aviation Minister Ibrahim Manna.

In a press statement on Sunday, Manna said the predictions are based upon Egypt's relative stability after the mass pro-democracy protests which led to the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak on 11 February.

The beginning of the Islamic pilgrimage season and the return of expatriate Egyptians for the summer vacation towards the end of May will also contribute to the increases. Passenger numbers will also rise as countries lift their travel bans on Egypt, which he said is expected soon.

Manna added that he gave orders to continue offering incentives to airliners, including a 50 percent discount on the services fee imposed by Egyptian airports.

Last week, EgyptAir said it lost LE700 million as a result of the combined effects of the 25 January Revolution, uprisings in neighboring Arab countries and Japan's earthquake. It released a statement saying that the losses were due to the decline in passenger numbers, which squeezed profits by 80 percent in the first few weeks of Egypt's revolution.

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