Landing and take-off fees imposed on airlines were cancelled at four Egyptian airports, which will increase hotel occupancies in the coming winter season, according to Egyptian Travel Agents Association (ETAA) Chairman Tharwat El-Agamy.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation agreed to cancel the fees at four airports in Egypt for 10 months, according to a release sent to ETAA.
According to the release, the four airports, from which charter airlines benefit thanks to the ministry’s incentive, are the international airports of Luxor, Aswan, Marsa Matruh and Taba.
Agamy said airlines are free to travel from one foreign country to another without transit in the country of the company’s origin. He added that this decision aims at increasing flights to these areas which have suffered a decline in tourism.
He expects a growth in the occupancies of Luxor starting from September. This requires serious preparations for the reservation season, especially concerning Western European countries and East Asia.
Agamy added that the percentage of Luxor’s hotel occupancies in the meantime varies between 15% and 20%. The decision will be applied, starting from July and until the end of April 2016.
The decision aims to increase reservations during next winter in Luxor, Aswan and Taba, and increase reservations this summer in Marsa Matruh, according to member of the Aviation Committee in the Chamber of Tourism Companies and Agencies, Abdel Hamid Rady.
The Tourism Ministry aims to reconsider incentive programmes of charter by the end of October.
The Ministry of Tourism allocated cash that amounted to $15m annually to avoid changes of planes destinations to countries other than Egypt during the past four years, according to Rady.
“Charter flights require a reconsideration at the moment, as there is no demand on Egypt,” said Rady.
The programme cannot continue this way, as fullness rates are weak on regular flights to provide strong incentives for charter, according to Rady. He added that charter flights should only take place if there is high demand on regular flights.
The Ministry of Tourism aims to increase the number of arrivals by the end of this year to 12 million tourists, compared to 9.9 million during 2014, according to the ministry.
Charter incentives throughout the past four years represented the most important incentives provided by Egypt in order to attract tourists amid the disturbances that it suffered from, according to Rady.
According to a Tourism Ministry official, there is a will to increase charter incentives in Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada airports starting from October. This comes in light of the recovery of travel traffic to them compared to the rest of the areas that still experience a decline in tourism.
The ministry does not aim to increase aviation incentives in areas that suffer from a decline, according to the official. The official added that the optimum way of providing incentives will be considered, whether by supporting vacant or filled seats according to each market separately.