Topic: RE: Are Delta And United Still Flying To Cairo?
Posted 2013-02-11 21:26:00 and read 2998 times.
With respect to DL, I assume you are referring to their more recent CAI service, which was offered for about 2 1/2 years, between June 2008 and January 2011 on the 767-300ER? It was introduced as a 5x weekly service and ultimately went daily during peak periods, but was suspended amid the outbreak of Arab Spring civil unrest in Egypt and permanently cut shortly thereafter. Tourism to Egypt has not rebounded since the flight was cut and given that the Egyptian capital continues to suffer from violent protests, it may be a long time before demands reaches pre-Arab Spring levels and DL deems it appropriate to reinstate the flight. As an American, I am very glad I had the chance to visit Egypt back in August 2008. It was a wonderful experience that I would not be able to enjoy today, given that the vast majority of my time was spent independently exploring the city of Cairo. I don't doubt that most other Americans feel the same way about visiting Egypt these days...
With respect to UA, they never even served CAI. CO had announced and sold tickets for EWR-CAI, which was to begin in May 2011 on the PMCO 777-200ER, daily during peak periods and 4-5x weekly during the others - very similar schedule to the DL service. The Arab Spring lead to the "indefinite postponement" of the flight, although UA does codeshare on Star Alliance partner MS's JFK-CAI service. This service, operated by the carrier's flagship 777-300ER aircraft, is now the sole remaining nonstop link between the U.S. and Egypt. Of course, numerous one-stop connecting options are offered by various European and Middle Eastern carriers that tend to have a much higher caliber of service than MS...
|Quoting MSYYZ (Thread starter):|
Have they suspended the flights due to the political unrest in Egypt ?
Yes. Egypt was never considered to be a safe place to begin with - people thought I was absolutely crazy for going back in 2008 under the relative security of the Mubarak regime! Even my British boss, who was so comfortable in the Middle East that he was raising his children there, had warned me not to go. Many Americans asked me if I had the story of the tourists getting scammed riding camels deep into the desert, having to pay exorbitant sums or otherwise find their own way back. Turned out I had a great time, and I'm still here today to tell the tale. However, this was long before angry mobs began attacking our embassy over an offensive YouTube video, among other things going in Cairo today that would certainly deter me from going back anytime soon. Once a destination for the brave, intrepid tourists like myself, I think the only ones going to Egypt today from this country are Egyptian/Egyptian-American, have very good reason to go (i.e. dying family member), and know the place well enough to steer well clear of trouble...
|Quoting cv640 (Reply 1):|
Last I heard there are no plans to resume service any time soon.
It took DL almost 7 years to resume CAI services last time around, after the fallout of 9/11. I suspect it may take even longer this time around, as Egypt's international reputation has suffered worse than any other time in recent memory...
|Quoting kevin752 (Reply 3):|
You can still fly there using SkyTeam/JV partners AF and KL.
Can even take SkyTeam partner AZ, via FCO or MXP. SU and SV might even be options too, although most Americans would probably prefer a hassle-free transit through the E.U. than a more stressful one through Russia or Saudi Arabia...
|Quoting klwright69 (Reply 4):|
CO (UA) decided to launch LOS instead of CAI. I think LOS would have more business traffic and they should have just done LOS from the getgo and not even contemplated CAI to begin with.
LOS has virtually no appeal to anyone but those visiting friends and relatives (Nigerians/Nigerian-Americans) and/or those traveling on business. The airport offers no seamless beyond-connectivity for UA pax, so it all comes down to Lagos O&D. There is certainly high yield potential, but the market is limited in size. Most Nigerians can't afford to fly, and those that can have to jump through hoops to get a U.S. visa. As for Americans visiting Nigeria, it is extremely unsafe for the typical independent tourist. I don't know about you, but even with all of its current troubles I'd take Cairo over Lagos any day. Certainly Egypt over Nigeria.
CAI is not just about O&D, which typically has a much healthier mix of VFR, business, political/military, and tourist traffic than LOS, but is also a rather strong alliance partner hub with great connectivity to the whole of Egypt, much of Africa, and the Middle East. I do not think UA/CO would have been interested in CAI without the MS hub feed in the picture.
Jordan was affected by the Arab Spring to some extent, but didn't suffer the fatal blow to its tourism and international appeal/perception like Egypt did. As fuel prices rose and the global economy tanked, DL could only justify overflying SkyTeam partner hubs at CDG, AMS, and FCO for a handful of very high-yielding markets: ACC/ROB, DKR, DXB, JNB, LOS, SVO, and TLV. Not only did they cut CAI and AMM, but they also cut ABV, BUD, CPT, KBP, KWI, OTP, and VIE, as well as nonstops to India and a lot of redundant transatlantic flights from ATL. ATH, IST, and PRG were reduced to summer seasonal. LAD never even started after being formally announced, and they quietly gave up on attempts to serve NBO and SSG. I think AMM - a smaller long haul market, with less than stellar yields and competition from a state-backed carrier enjoying AA feed - would have been cut even if all was fine and well in Jordan and its neighbors.
|Quoting B4REAL (Reply 7):|
I also want to thing waaaaaay back, it was on an MD-11.. But I could be mistaken.
Nope, that is correct. They started JFK-CAI-DXB on the MD-11 on June 16th 2001, which probably helped facilitate AA's drop of TW's longstanding JFK-CAI-RUH service, which they formally announced on September 4th, 2001. That DL flight never resumed after 9/11, although CAI and DXB would later rejoin the network several years later when the MD-11s were long gone...
|Quoting tpaewr (Reply 8):|
I don't know that UA even had or planned any UA metal to CAI.
No, PMUA only operated low density 4 class birds on its long haul intercontinental flights. Such planes were ill-suited for serving a market like CAI. That said, IAD does have pretty strong demand to several African and Middle Eastern markets, so maybe some kind of IAD-CAI service would work - on a high density bird, of course!
|Quoting tpaewr (Reply 8):|
UA did serve both ACC and LOS from IAD, but post merger all sUA service to Africa is gone
Both markets were overserved from the U.S., though. ACC had a history of direct U.S. services on Ghana Airways (JFK and BWI), which were operated at very low frequencies, often routed via intermediate West African points. A few years later, after that carrier's collapse, there were 3 competing nonstop flights at much higher frequencies - DL's nonstop JFK and ATL flights, and UA's IAD flights. Both carriers ultimately offered services beyond ACC to other West African markets, but even so something in the oversaturated Ghana market had to give, and it was UA's IAD and DL's ATL. Then there was Nigeria, which went from no nonstop links (such flights were banned by the U.S. until 2001 owing to security concerns at Lagos) to DL's nonstop ATL flights, UA's one stop IAD flights, CO's nonstop IAH flights, and W3's nonstop JFK flights. Again, something had to give, and not surprisingly it was the less convenient one stop option that did.