After a year of trying to access more slots at London/Heathrow, MS has been granted an extra weekly slot to increase their CAI-LHR flights to 8x weekly. The airline currently have a daily CAI-LHR service (B777). MS779/780 will be an evening service operating every Wednesday with an A320.
MS777 CAI-LHR -234-67 10:35/13:35 0 B777
MS777 CAI-LHR 1---5-- 14:00/17:05 0 B777
MS779 CAI-LHR --3---- 18:10/21:15 0 A320 ... new service
MS778 LHR-CAI -234-67 15:00/21:45 0 B777
MS778 LHR-CAI 1---5-- 18:25/01:15 0 B777
MS780 LHR-CAI --3---- 22:30/05:15 0 A320 ... new service
This will be in addition to the weekly Monday MS761/762 LXR-LHR-LXR B777 service and weekly Sunday MS765/766 SSH-LHR-SSH A320/A321 flight, which will give Egyptair 10x weekly flights to LHR.
Looking at the new service's arrival time into CAI (05:15) I'd say it's targetting the first wave of domestic services from CAI to LXR, SSH, HRG and ASW which tend to depart between 05:00 and 07:00. The number of British tourists visiting Egypt increased by 52% in 2005 compared to 2004.
Deviating slightly, there was an article I read in 'Business Egypt' late last year which stated that the Egyptian aurhtories have refused BA more access to CAI in a tit for tat move for MS being denied more access to LHR. I wonder if this will make any difference. I know for a fact that BA's current B744 LHR-CAI service does very well in F, C and C classes (demand for W fluctuates a lot)...
Across the pond, the airline will increase flights to New York JFK Airport also in March to 6x weekly B777 flights. This represents an increase of 20% in seats compared to summer 2005.
MS985 CAI-JFK -234567 10:15/15:15 0 B777
MS986 JFK-CAI -234567 18:30/11:45 0 B777
The airline usually has 4x weekly flights to JFK during the winter and 5x weekly in the summer, but at the start of the winter 05/06 timetable winter flights were increased to 5x weekly and now this summer flights become daily (except on Mondays).
At the moment the increase is only planned for the summer, but I'm sure the increase will be maintained throughout the winter 06/07 timetable with a daily service becoming effective summer 2007 when CAI's new terminal (T3) opens June 2007.
After many years of operating 2x weekly services to Jo'burg, MS will be increasing services to JNB to 3x weekly A330 flights this March with a new Thursday flight.
MS939 CAI-JNB -2-4-6- 02:40/09:40 0 A330
MS940 JNB-CAI -2-4-6- 21:45/06:45 0 A330
Again looking at JNB's schedule it seems the service is targetting transiting pax from MS's European services which arrive into CAI late in the evening and depart from CAI early in the morning.
In addition to the normal increases during the summer the following is a list of new increases from CAI:
FCO: up from 6x weekly to daily
DXB: up from daily to 9x weekly (+4 other services route via ALY and SSH)
DOH: up from 5x weekly to daily
RUH: up from daily to 10x weekly (+1 service via ALY)
GVA: up from 2x weekly to 3x weekly (+1 service via SSH/HRG)
Over the next few months new destinations and extra frequencies will be announced as the first B738s (due September/06) arrive.
Photo © Dmitriy Pichugin
Photo © Aldo Bidini