Egypt Air ( Arabic مصر للطيران, DMG Miṣr li-ṭ-ṭayarān , sometimes also EgyptAir or EGYPTAIR in the company image ) is the state airline of Egypt , based in Cairo and based at Cairo International Airport . It is a member of the Star Alliance and the Arab Air Carriers Organization and maintains the subsidiary airlines Egypt Air Cargo , Egypt Air Express , Air Sinai and Smart Aviation .
Foundation and first years
The origins of aviation in Egypt lay with the national pioneer Mohamed Sidki, who flew from Berlin to Cairo on December 14, 1929 with his plane "Fayza", a Klemm 25 , and arrived there on January 25, 1930. In 1931 Alan Muntz, the managing director of British Airwork Services, traveled to Egypt to open an airline. Convinced of the idea, King Fuad I and Prime Minister Ismail Sidki Pasha signed a decree on December 31, 1931 to establish an aviation company.
Egypt Air was founded as Misr Airwork on June 7, 1932 as a private company. The name is made up of the names of the main investors: the Egyptian Misr Bank (Misr is the Arabic name for Egypt) financed around 85% and the British company Airwork around 10% of the initial capital of 20,000 Egyptian pounds. Talaat Harb , founder of Misr Bank, contributed another 5% .
As a first step, the new company opened a flight school at Cairo-Almaza Airport in Heliopolis , which is now a district of Cairo. A small number of imported De Havilland DH.60 Moths were used as aircraft. After the takeover of a leased Spartan Cruiser from the British parent company, the first daily scheduled flights from Cairo via Alexandria to Marsa Matruh were set up in July 1933 . Due to the great demand, the Cairo-Alexandria route was already served twice a day in the first month. In order to meet the demand of the tourism industry, from December 1933 onwards, the route Cairo- Asyut - Luxor - Aswan was flown twice a week along the Nile southwards . The Spartan Cruiser was replaced by two De Havilland DH.84 Dragons . With the cities of Lod and Haifa in Palestine , the first international destinations came into the route network in 1934 and two years later, in 1936, the Cypriot Nicosia and Iraqi Baghdad . The increasing number of flights caused Misr Airwork to flee more aircraft from 1935 onwards. At that time the fleet consisted of two De Havilland Dragons , five De Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide and two De Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth .
When the Second World War broke out , the state of Egypt took control of the airline in September 1939 and renamed it Misr Airlines . At that time the airline had a pure de Havilland fleet with 18 types:
- 1 De Havilland DH.84 Dragon
- 5 De Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide
- 3 De Havilland DH.86 Express
- 1 De Havilland DH.87 Hornet Moth
- 1 De Havilland DH.85 Leopard Moth
- 4 De Havilland DH.60 Moth
- 2 De Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth
- 1 unidentified De Havilland aircraft
The route network remained the same, but the frequencies were increased and the new destination Beirut added to the program. In addition, three Avro Anson were integrated into the fleet. After the war, there were three serious accidents at the end of 1945, which prompted the employees on February 6, 1946 to go on strike until May 1946, demanding that the aircraft be safer. Ten Beechcraft Model 18s were purchased for the flight school and used successively in regular flight operations. The fleet also acquired four Avro Anson, four De Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide and two North American T-6s . Misr Airlines benefited from the fact that the Allied forces were storing and selling their no longer used aircraft in Egypt at that time.
With the sale of the shares by the British parent company Airwork to the Egyptian state in 1949, the name was changed to MisrAir . To fight against growing competition, Misrair bought five Vickers Vikings from Aer Lingus in 1949 , which had only used this type of aircraft for a short time since 1947. Another three copies of this aircraft type were taken over by the Danish Det Danske Luftfartselskab (DDL). Despite the sale of the shares by Airwork, they continued to work closely with the British company. They supported each other with maintenance, and Airwork helped buy the Vickers Viking.
Between 1949 and 1952, the route network doubled with new destinations in Ethiopia , Greece , Iran , Yemen , Kuwait , Switzerland , Syria and Turkey . The number of employees also rose to over 1,000. The fleet also grew with, at the time, modern aircraft, so in March 1951 three Vickers Viscount 700 turboprop aircraft were ordered and in October 1951 three Sud-Est SE.161 Languedocs were bought by Air France . The aircraft type Sud-Est SE.161 had a greater range with higher seating capacity than the Vickers Viking and was the first four-engine aircraft type in the fleet. They were mainly used on longer international routes such as to Geneva , Khartoum and Tehran and replaced the Viking.
On December 1, 1952 MisrAir took over the domestic competitor SAIDE (Services Aériens Internationaux d'Egypte) and thus ended the flight operations of this airline. Only the successful Cairo- Tunis route was incorporated into its own route network.
The three Vickers Viscount 700s ordered were shipped between December 1955 and February 1956 and commissioning took place in March 1956. This type of aircraft enabled the long-awaited start of flights to London. In 1958, the fleet was also renewed in the regional and domestic route network with the purchase of five Douglas DC-3s .
As part of the Suez Crisis , several aircraft were lost in October 1956, including one of the three new Vickers Viscount 700. In addition, Misrair found that the Viscount 700 was too slow compared to the competition, so they looked for a faster replacement. The Soviet Union made an offer for the Tupolev Tu-104 , but in 1960 it was the first Middle Eastern airline to order three De Havilland Comet 4C jet airliners . This made it possible to fly to new destinations such as Bombay (1961) and Tokyo (1962).
United Arab Airlines
The merger of Egypt and Syria to form the United Arab Republic on February 1, 1958 also affected Misrair. The new name United Arab Airlines , which was planned as an aviation alliance of Arab states, was adopted and merged with the Syrian airline Syrian Airways . The talks on the merger turned out to be difficult, as private investors were also involved in Syrian Airways. So the two companies were only merged in early 1961. As a result of the merger, the fleet was supplemented by the Douglas DC-3 and Douglas DC-4 aircraft. In addition, three Douglas DC-6s were taken over by SAS Scandinavian Airlines .
However, Syria left the alliance in September of the same year and founded the Syrian Arab Airlines , which led to a financial crisis with high losses at the UAA in 1962. This was expressed in the lack of financing for the Boeing 707, which had already been ordered in 1961, and in the provision of spare parts. During this period, four plane crashes occurred in 14 months between 1962 and 1963. In the absence of long-haul aircraft, the destination Tokyo had to be canceled via Bombay and the remaining six De Havilland Comet 4C were only used to Europe.
The cooperation between the former Soviet Union and the state of Egypt also led to further problems for the UAA: In addition to the suspension of flights to Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia withdrew traffic rights, and flights to Jerusalem (then under Jordanian control) were limited.
In order to strengthen the regional business, the UAA founded a subsidiary on August 1, 1965, which again carried the well-known name Misrair . However, due to a lack of sales, this was dissolved again on June 1, 1968 and flight operations were taken over by the parent company.
It was not until the Six Day War in 1967 that the airline changed significantly. For example, the Arab states encouraged their citizens to travel to Egypt, and in 1968 funding was set up for the order of the Boeing 707 . This enabled the Tokyo route to be added to the route network again in June 1968.
Again at the end of the 1960s the plan came up to unite Arab airlines under the alliance of United Arab Airlines. In addition to the Egyptian part, the Libyan Libyan Arab Airlines and the Sudanese Sudan Airways should be integrated. These had a similar route network and all used the Boeing 707 aircraft . In addition to the political reasons, it was hoped that costs would be reduced and that it would be easier to apply for traffic rights. The plans were well advanced, but were no longer pursued with the appointment of Anwar as-Sadat as Egyptian President in 1970. The airline was then given its current name Egypt Air on October 1, 1971 . Since then, the official signet has been a stylized representation of the falcon god Horus from Egyptian mythology .
In the early 1970s, the De Havilland Comet were gradually implemented on short and medium-haul routes and replaced on long-haul routes by a total of eight Soviet Ilyushin Il-62s .
Between October 1972 and March 1975 a total of eight Tupolev Tu-154s were used . As a result of a crash of this type of aircraft during a training flight on July 10, 1974, Egypt issued the Tu-154 a flight ban and after an agreement with the Soviet Union in March 1975, this type of aircraft was sold again.
In the 1970s, the political situation in Egypt in the Middle East conflict, and in particular the recognition of Israel as a state in 1979 under the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, again faced economic problems, as the boycott of the other Arab states only allowed a small increase in passenger numbers. Nevertheless, the decision was made to renew the fleet with an order from Boeing in May 1975 for eight Boeing 737-200s . At that time the fleet consisted of nine Boeing 707s , four De Havilland Comet 4Cs and two loaned Sud Aviation Caravelle . To finance the order, an agreement was reached with Boeing to sell three Boeing 707s to the manufacturer. The De Havilland Comet 4C aircraft were also sold. Investigations by the Egyptian governments in 1976 revealed that Boeing had given bribes.
From April 1977 the first two wide- bodied Airbus A300 aircraft were put into service.
The takeover of power by Husni Mubarak as President of the Republic on October 14, 1981 brought about further changes in the company. Muhammed Rayan took over the management and fundamentally modernized Egypt Air. In 1981, eight Airbus A300-200s were ordered, new destinations were only introduced if they were economically viable and the regional route network was optimized. In addition, Egypt Air opened its own terminal at Cairo International Airport , a computer reservation system was introduced and the training program for employees was renewed. In addition, the business headquarters were combined in a new building at the airport and a $ 30 million maintenance hangar was built.
With Air Sinai , Egypt Air has been operating a subsidiary since 1982, which initially linked Cairo (and later other destinations within Egypt) with Israel. Egypt Air considered it necessary to found a subsidiary for the flights to Israel in order to avoid the political problems in the Arab states. In the later years some tourist destinations were added.
A large number of modern aircraft were ordered and put into service in the 1980s and early 1990s. Aircraft of the types Airbus A300-200 (early 1980s), Boeing 747-200 (May 1983), Boeing 767-200ER (July 1984), Boeing 747-300 (1988), Boeing 767-300ER (August 1989), Airbus A300-600R (May 1990), Airbus A320 (June 1991) and Boeing 737-500 (1991) the fleet.
In 2004, Egypt Air was one of the last airlines to retire the Boeing 707 from its fleet.
The regional airline Egypt Air Express was founded in 2007 to solve the problem that planes from international flights still had to carry out domestic flights in the evening and were therefore often delayed . The airline operates a pure Embraer 170 fleet, which was ordered at the beginning of 2007.
Egypt Air has been a full member of the Star Alliance since July 11, 2008 .
Due to the effects of the revolution in Egypt in 2011 , Egypt Air temporarily suffered a drop in sales of around 80% and, as a result, has to reduce its planned expansion with new destinations and aircraft. In February 2011 it was also announced that Egypt Air wanted to offer up to a third of its fleet on the leasing market to other airlines, including the new Boeing 777-300ER, as a result of the drop in passenger numbers due to the revolution .
Egypt Air flies from Cairo to international and intercontinental destinations in Africa, Asia, North America, the Arabian Peninsula and Europe.
As of July 2020, the Egypt Air fleet consists of 76 aircraft with an average age of 7.7 years:
( Business / Eco )
|Airbus A220-300||9||3||+ 12 options||- open -||0.7 years|
|Airbus A320-200||4th||145 (16/129)||17.0 years|
|Airbus A320neo||6th||9||leased from AerCap||145 (16/129)||0.4 years|
|Airbus A330-200||7th||SU-GCK in Star Alliance special livery; 3 of them in P2F design||268 (24/244)||15.2 years|
|Airbus A330-300||4th||1||301 (36/265)||9.2 years|
|Boeing 737-800||29||SU-GCS in Star Alliance special livery; SU-GEH in 85 Years special livery; SU-GEN in Egyptian National Football Team special livery||144 (24/120)
|Boeing 777-300ER||6th||319 (49/297)||9.8 years|
|Boeing 787-9||6th||307 (30/279)||1.1 years|
|Embraer 170LR||5||76 (- / 76)||11.7 years|
Former aircraft types
In the past, Egypt Air already used the following types of aircraft:
- Airbus A300-600
- Airbus A300B4
- Airbus A321-200
- Airbus A340 -200/300
- Boeing 737-200/500
- Boeing 747-100/200/300
- Boeing 767-200/300
- Boeing 777-200
- Douglas DC-8 -20/30/60
- McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30
From the start of statistical recording of accidents in 1951 to December 2018, Egyptair (under its various names) suffered a total of 47 total aircraft losses. 903 people were killed.
The following list includes examples of total aircraft losses by the company, with or without death.
- On December 22, 1951, a SNCASE SE.161 Languedoc ( aircraft registration number SU-AHH ) of the Misrair crashed ten kilometers west of the Tehran-Mehrabad airport after it had already circled it twice in a snow storm. All 22 people on board were killed.
- On July 30, 1952, an engine in a SNCASE SE.161 Languedoc of the Misrair (SU-AHX) was unnecessarily shut down on the flight to Khartoum and the fire extinguisher there was activated. The captain decided to return to the starting point, Cairo-Almaza Airport ( Egypt ). There was also a belly landing which damaged the aircraft beyond repair. All 38 occupants, 5 crew members and 33 passengers survived the crash landing.
- On December 15, 1953, a Vickers Viking 1B of the Misrair (SU-AFK) crashed after taking off from Cairo-Almaza Airport eight kilometers east of the same. The machine was on its way to Luxor . All six inmates were killed.
- On April 24, 1954, the crew of a SNCASE SE.161 Languedoc of the Misrair (SU-AHZ ) had a warning about an incorrectly extended landing gear while approaching the international airport of Damascus ( Syria ) . However, the air traffic controller on the tower informed her that the landing gear was extended. After touching down, the right main landing gear collapsed because it was not locked. All 22 occupants, 5 crew members and 17 passengers survived the crash landing. The aircraft was totaled.
- On September 15, 1954, a Vickers Viking 1B of the Misrair (SU-AFO) crashed at Cairo-Almaza Airport. The machine was on a test flight after a major inspection. When going around with a simulated engine failure, there was a stall and crash. Three of the four crew members perished.
- On October 1, 1956, a Vickers Viscount 739 Misrair (SU-AIC) was destroyed at Cairo-Almaza Airport during the Suez Crisis by an air raid by the British Royal Air Force . People were not harmed.
- On March 7, 1958, a Vickers Viking 1B of the Misrair (SU-AGN) crashed into Lake Manzala while approaching Port Said Airport . The machine coming from Athens had evaded Cairo due to weather reasons. Eight of the 26 people on board were killed.
- On September 29, 1960, a United Arab Airlines (SU-AKW) Vickers Viscount 739B flew into a severe storm. The pilots lost their bearings on the flight from Geneva to Rome and the plane crashed about 25 kilometers off the coast of Elba in the Mediterranean Sea. All 21 people on board were killed in the crash. Only a few parts of the wreck could be recovered during the recovery.
- On July 19, 1962, a De Havilland DH.106 Comet 4C (SU-AMW) coming from Hong Kong was approaching Don Muang Airport (Bangkok) in Khao Yai Mountain . All 26 people died in this controlled flight into terrain (see United Arab Airlines flight 869 ).
- On May 12, 1963, a Douglas DC-3 (SU-AJK) crashed into an orange grove near the village of Az Zahweyyin on a domestic flight from Cairo to Alexandria. All 34 people on board were killed in the accident.
- On July 27, 1963, a De Havilland DH.106 Comet 4C (SU-ALD) crashed into the sea on a night approach during severe turbulence about 10 km west-northwest of Bombay Airport . All 63 people on board were killed; the wreck was not found.
- On March 18, 1966, an Antonov An-24 (SU-AOA) coming from Nicosia crashed five kilometers northeast of it while approaching Cairo Airport. All 30 people on board did not survive the accident.
- On August 18, 1968, an Antonov An-24 (SU-AOL) crashed on an international scheduled flight from Cairo to Damascus in the Mediterranean. None of the 40 people on board survived the crash.
- On March 20, 1969, an Ilyushin Il-18 (SU-APC) crashed on an unscheduled flight from Jeddah to Aswan landing at the destination airport and went up in flames. Only 5 of the 105 people on board survived the accident. When approaching the poorly equipped airport in a sandstorm, the pilots flew below the decision height , also due to their excessive fatigue due to long working hours without suitable rest periods.
- On January 30, 1970, the landing gear of a United Arab Airlines (SU-AOK) Antonov An-24B collapsed on landing at Luxor Airport . The machine was damaged beyond repair. Everyone on board survived the accident.
- On January 2, 1971, the de Havilland DH.106 Comet 4C with the registration number SU-ALC of United Arab Airlines touched a dune at an altitude of almost 120 meters when approaching Tripoli Airport . During this controlled flight into terrain , everyone on board, eight passengers and eight crew members died.
- On March 19, 1972, a Douglas DC-9-32 (YU-AHR) flew into a mountain around 7 kilometers from the destination Aden airport . None of the 30 people on board survived the accident. The machine was operated by the Yugoslav Inex Adria Airways on behalf of Egyptairs .
- On June 16, 1972, the pilots of an Ilyushin Il-62 of Egypt Air (SU-ARN) accidentally landed at the wrong airport in Cairo-Almaza . The pilots should have landed on runway 34 at Cairo International Airport, seven kilometers away , where the first 650 meters were blocked. When they instead touched down on runway 36 at Almaza Airport, which is only 2050 meters long, because of the supposed construction work, the remaining length turned out to be clearly too short. The aircraft rolled over the end of the runway and was totaled. All 59 occupants, 12 crew members and 47 passengers survived the crash landing.
- On December 5, 1972, a Boeing 707-366C of Egypt Air (SU-AOW) launched at Cairo International Airport had an accident on a training flight after engine No. 4 was torn off the wing of Beni Suef . All six people on board died.
- On January 29, 1973, a fully functional Ilyushin Il-18 D (SU-AOV) flew into a mountain on the international scheduled flight MS 741 from Cairo to Nicosia as it approached the destination airport. During this renewed controlled flight into terrain , all 37 people (30 passengers, 7 crew members) on board were killed.
- On December 25, 1976, a Boeing 707 (SU-AXA) crashed into a factory while approaching Don Mueang Airport . All 52 people on board and 19 people on the ground were killed in the crash.
- On 17 October 1982, a continued Boeing 707-366C of Egypt Air (SU-APE) to Geneva during landing 50 meters before the runway, was thrown up, and came to the side of the runway from. The front of the aircraft was badly damaged in the accident and the right wing broke off. The machine had to be written off as a total loss. All 182 occupants, including 172 passengers, survived the incident.
- On November 23, 1985, a Boeing 737-266 (SU-AYH) was hijacked by members of the Abu Nidal organization on its flight from Athens to Cairo . In addition to the kidnappers, 57 hostages of the 98 inmates were also killed by smoke inhalation and gunshot wounds at Malta Airport . The machine was destroyed (see also Egypt Air Flight 648 ) .
- On September 21, 1987, an Airbus A300-B4 of Egypt Air (SU-BCA) fell sideways from the runway during a training flight when landing at Luxor Airport and was destroyed. All five crew members were killed. It was the first fatal accident involving an Airbus A300 since its first flight in 1972.
- On August 21, 1996, an Egypt Air (SU-AVX) Boeing 707-366C rolled over the end of the runway at Istanbul Ataturk Airport , collided with a car and caught fire. In the accident, the hull broke apart; the aircraft had to be written off as a total loss. All 128 inmates, including 120 passengers, survived the incident.
- On October 31, 1999, a Boeing 767-300ER with the registration number SU-GAP crashed into the Atlantic on its way from New York to Cairo not far from the island of Nantucket . Shortly before the crash, the aircraft went into a dive initiated by one of the pilots. All 217 people on board were killed when they hit the surface of the sea (see also Egypt Air flight 990 ) .
- On May 7, 2002, a Boeing 737-500 with 55 passengers and ten crew members with the aircraft registration number SU-GBI crash-landed six kilometers from the airport on the way from Cairo to Tunis . 11 of the 56 passengers and three of the six crew members died in the accident (see also Egyptair flight 843 ) .
- On July 29, 2011, a fire broke out in the cockpit of a Boeing 777-200ER with the aircraft registration SU-GBP while the aircraft was still being prepared for departure for Jeddah at the gate of Cairo Airport . Passengers and crew were able to leave the aircraft unharmed. The fire was fueled by oxygen coming from a damaged pipe. There was considerable damage to the aircraft, which made repairs uneconomical. The aircraft was then written off. The cause of the fire could no longer be clearly identified.
- On May 19, 2016, an Airbus A320 (SU-GCC) crashed on the way from Paris to Cairo over the Mediterranean Sea, shortly after it was supposed to reach Egyptian airspace. There were 56 passengers, seven crew members and three security guards on board the aircraft (see Egypt Air flight 804 ) .
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