By Mohamed Attia
EgyptAir had a successful showing at the Dubai Airshow, signing major deals to modernize its fleet and co-operate with other organisations.
The national air carrier renewed their air fleet with 28 new aircraft and secured a maintenance agreement with Honeywell to reduce time and costs. There was collaboration between the Saudi Academy and the airlines to utilize the B787 Dreamliner flight simulator.
The participation resulted in significant successes and deals with major global companies to reinforce the air fleet, collaborations, and training agreements with various entities. EgyptAir’s participation in the Dubai Airshow, the world’s largest event in civilian, military aviation, and space, showcased the latest aviation technologies and innovations.
This year marked EgyptAir’s most prominent participation in years, particularly since the 2017 Dubai Airshow when they announced the purchase of 32 to 38 new aircraft worth 60 billion Egyptian pounds at that time. EgyptAir, following directives from the Minister of Civil Aviation, Mohamed Abbas, has been focusing on comprehensive renewal and updates across its subsidiaries, launching new routes, achieving higher safety and quality standards, covering global markets, and attracting new customers to support travel and tourism.
One of the key deals made during EgyptAir’s participation at the Dubai Airshow was the lease agreement with Air Lease Corporation for 18 new Boeing B737-8MAX aircraft. This marked the first deal between Air Lease Corporation and EgyptAir. The B737-8 MAX is the first addition to EgyptAir’s fleet, with the initial aircraft set for delivery starting in 2025 and the rest to be delivered by the end of 2026.
During the press conference organised by Air Lease Corporation at the Dubai Airshow, Yahia Zakaria, the Chairman of EgyptAir’s Holding Company, highlighted that this deal aligns with EgyptAir’s fleet update plan, its commitment to environmental sustainability, and future growth plans. He expressed satisfaction with partnering with a leading leasing company like Air Lease Corporation to support EgyptAir’s fleet modernisation and growth plans, looking forward to further co-operation in the future.
Steve F. Udvar-Házy, CEO of Air Lease Corporation, expressed happiness about the deal with EgyptAir, stating that EgyptAir is their first lessee for this aircraft model. He praised EgyptAir as a leading airline in North Africa and anticipated their continued excellence with these new-generation aircraft, which will replace older, short- to medium-haul aircraft with more luxurious, modern, and fuel-efficient ones, significantly enhancing EgyptAir’s fleet and competitiveness.
Afif Lewis, Deputy Vice President of ALC, expressed honor in sealing this significant deal with EgyptAir, contributing significantly to the development of the company’s single-aisle fleet. He thanked EgyptAir’s team for choosing ALC as a partner in this major investment to upgrade and develop its air fleet and looked forward to a long-term successful relationship between ALC and EgyptAir.
EgyptAir has also announced the signing of a new deal to purchase 10 Airbus A350-900 aircraft. This move aims to meet the increasing demand for air transport and provide customers with the best flying experience across its extensive global network of routes.
Engineer Yahia Zakaria, Chairman of EgyptAir’s Holding Company, witnessed the signing of an agreement for the maintenance and repair of some of EgyptAir’s aircraft units with Honeywell. The agreement was signed by Wael El-Kady, President of EgyptAir Maintenance & Engineering, and Ryan Lane, President of Aftermarket Services for Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia at Honeywell. This collaboration is part of EgyptAir’s efforts to ensure the safety and continuity of its fleet operations, maintaining the highest standards of quality and efficiency for passenger safety and comfort. The enhanced co-operation with Honeywell aims to achieve mutual benefits and establish a strong future partnership.
Wael El-Kady, President of EgyptAir Maintenance & Engineering, highlighted that the contract with Honeywell aims to reduce repair time for some units outside EgyptAir Maintenance & Engineering’s technical coverage, covering avionics and some safety systems. The collaboration with Honeywell in maintaining these units extends over 5 years and aims to reduce maintenance time and costs, ultimately enhancing EgyptAir’s fleet maintenance services.
Ryan Lane mentioned that EgyptAir has been a significant regional partner for Honeywell over the past decades. He expressed satisfaction that this agreement could help reduce the cost of aircraft unit repairs and assured their commitment to providing necessary support for the success of this agreement.
Within the strong relations between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, a new agreement was signed between the Saudi Academy in Jeddah and EgyptAir to utilise the B787 Dreamliner flight simulator. EgyptAir currently possesses seven aircraft of this model, with the eighth expected to be delivered in early 2024, necessitating an increase in qualified pilots to operate this modern model.
This partnership represents a significant step in enriching the training programmes offered by the Saudi Academy, aiming to qualify and develop the skills of workers in various aviation fields.
Furthermore, EgyptAir’s Ground Services Company signed a contract with service agent Tiger Aviation Services and TASS Service to provide ground services for one of its clients, Tailwind Airlines, operating four flights weekly to Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada International Airports. Major General Ibrahim Fouad, President of EgyptAir’s Ground Services Company, aims to increase the company’s clientele at Egyptian airports and upgrade its equipment fleet to serve all aircraft models, as well as expand into global markets.
Moreover, EgyptAir Holding Company signed a co-operation protocol with GE Aerospace to utilise its software solutions, including Safety Insight, Fuel Insight, and FlightPulse, in its aviation operations for 5 years. These applications enable EgyptAir to use data to enhance flight safety, reduce risks, correct errors, and provide statistical reporting. These solutions empower EgyptAir to make more efficient decisions regarding fuel consumption, support its sustainability plan, and reduce unnecessary fuel burn.
Andrew Coleman, General Manager of Aerospace GE’s Software Business, expressed delight in partnering with EgyptAir, reflecting their aspirations for more sustainable and efficient operations.
Additionally, Engineer Yahia Zakaria, Chairman of EgyptAir’s Holding Company, witnessed the announcement of co-operation between EgyptAir’s Training Academy and the UN World Food Programme (WFP).