According to the article the RJs will be operated by MS's wholly owned subsidiary Air Cairo who currently operate A321s on charter services.
The airline originally began looking into operating regional jets early last year (2003) with a view to operate 5 50-seater regional jets (either the Erj-145 or Crj200). They leased 6 ATR-42s from Tarom and Air Littoral for a period of 7 months during 2003 to see whether operating smaller aircraft on domestic routes would be a success, which it did.
Then earlier this year (April 2004) the airline embarked on a major restructuring plan which involved dropping unprofitable destinations, increasing frequency on existing routes and replacing older aircraft. This also put a hold on any immediate fleet or network expansion, but it seems the airline think its the right time to introduce the regional jets (turboprops are not being considered). This would leave the CRJ200 and 700 as well as the Embarer ERJ145 and 170 as possible candidates, though the Brazilian manufacturer is at an advantage due to lower costs and better delivery slots.
Photo © Eric Dunetz
Photo © Francisco José Jurado Ariza
Currently there are 2 Egyptian operators that utilise regional turboprops, PAS (Dash 7s and 8s) and Scorpio Aviation (ATR-42s). The only other regional aircraft operators in the region are Royal Jordanian's Royal Wings and Regional Air Lines (Morocco), though RB an ME are planning a joint venture airline called Air Taxi to operate RJs on flights between Syria and Lebanon.