Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou hopes the tourism sector will begin recovering in March contemporaneously with the conclusion of the first phase of British company Control Risks’ review of security procedures at Egyptian airports.
In statements made to Daily News Egypt, the minister stated that he expects the British company to start operations in the coming week. The first phase of Control Risks’ work will last three months and will focus on the airports of Cairo, Sharm El-Sheikh, and Marsa Alam.
“There are continuing communications with the foreign trip organisers in the European markets to work on lifting travel warnings to Egypt”, Zaazou said. The downing of the Russian commercial jet on 31 October resulted in direct losses of approximately EGP 6bn for the hospitality sector in the Red Sea and South Sinai.
Zaazou claimed that a private airline will be established in 2016 with a capital of EGP 100m to insulate the tourism sector from the decisions of Eurasian airlines. The private sector will provide 80% of this capital, while the state will finance the rest.
Zaazou told Daily News Egypt that a number of private investors, the National Investment Bank, and the tourism fund will contribute funds to the new airline.
Additionally, Zaasou stated the consortium of interested parties is looking to acquire an airline. “We will study acquiring one of the airlines as a faster solution to handle the present crisis,” he said. The Ministry of Tourism began communications with private airlines to support travel between Egypt and European market. Fly Egypt and Air Cairo are among those companies in discussion with the ministry.
The security committee, headed by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and constituted by the ministers of Tourism and Civil Aviation, representatives from the Ministry of Interior, and officials from the National Security Apparatus, met Sunday to inquire into implementation of previously agreed measures to improve security at Egyptian airports and resorts.