UAE press is reporting that Egypt and the UAE are going to sign an updated air services agreement by the end of the month. There are rumours that the two countries may actually go full open skies - does anyone have any additional insight around this ?
Extra services are definitely much needed. Emirates operates DXB-CAI 8x weekly - 6 of the flights are scheduled with a B772 (3 class), 1 with B772 (2 class) and 1 with an A332 (3 class). The current agreement has a strict seat limit for Emirates on the CAI route. Nevertheless, the route is very profitable with not just the Y class but premium cabins full year round. In fact it is among Emirates Top 10 profitable routes worldwide.
During the summer schedule the Egyptian authorities have permitted Emirates to increase aircraft size - the carrier has put the 3 class B773 on the route. My sense is that Emirates will likely request a minimum 2x daily to CAI with no seat/aircraft type restrictions. They will probably seek to get 3-4x daily rights for the future on CAI. Additionally you will likely see them request additional points for the future such as Luxor and Sharm El Sheikh and the option for extra rights to Alexandria.
If anyone has any info around likely details of this agreement it will be interesting because it could throw another spanner in the works re the planning for 2006/7 -- as Emirates likely puts additional capacity to Egypt and may put off expansion on other routes.
Thanks in advance.