MSYYZ
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Egyptair Express E-170 CAI-MUH-CAI (70 Pics)

Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:01 pm

After our arrival to Cairo on LH...
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...ums/trip_reports/read.main/129527/
We spent a week in a 5 star Hotel in Cairo on a Bed and Open Buffet Breakfast basis .
I originally booked the room on the internet directly from the hotel's website while i was in Canada , not too many hotels in Egypt offer internet booking , unfortunately .
The Hotel was actually nice and not too far from the Nile and Downtown Cairo .

OUR CAIRO HOTEL





OPEN BUFFET BREAKFAST( BAKERY SECTION)

There was a huge selection of baked goods (all kind of breads , danishes , all kind of croissants , feteer , doughnuts ...etc .

OPEN BUFFET BREAKFAST ( SALAD SECTION )

COLD CUTS AND CHEESES SECTION

A SAMPLE OF MY BREAKFAST

ANOTHER SAMPLE OF MY BREAKFAST


A Kabab and Kofta meal ( a specialty of Egypt ) in downtown Cairo .

KABOB AND KOFTA


I had to include all this food pictures because food in Egypt is just amazing . Probably you feel hungry right now so let's stop talking about food and let me take you to Cairo Airport to catch my flight to Mersa Matruh (MUH) .
Mersa Matruh is a small Mediterranean city and it lies between Alexandria and the Libyan borders . It is known for its beautiful white sand beaches and Turquoise waters . It is a very popular place for Egyptians but less known to foreigners .
I booked the CAI-MUH-CAI flight on the internet ( Egyptair website ) , the ticket price was ridiculously high ( about 3 times what i paid last year for CAI-HRG-CAI .
The only airline that serves MUH is Egyptair Express on a thrice weekly basis . I was actually eager to try MS Express and to try the Brazilian made Embraer 170 as i have never flown on one before .
We left the hotel at 7 am for the 9:15 flight , i always use the Cairo Airport shuttle service .
Although it is called shuttle , but it is not really a shuttle service . You have to call them in advance to book your private air conditioned Hyundai Mini-Bus . I have used them last year and have used them in all my trips to and from the Airport this year as well .
It was Friday morning ( the weekend in Egypt ) so it only took us 20 minutes from the Hotel ( near the downtown ) to the Airport : a record time by all means if you are familiar with Cairo and its traffic .
A Police officer checked our E.Tickets at the entrance of the Airport and they screened our luggage . then we proceeded to the check-in counters where they didn't even weigh our luggage and in just few minutes we got our boarding passes and proceeded to the gate .
Another handbags screening at the gate . Then Boarding passes were checked by a Police officer who showed his dissatisfaction that we were a little early for our flight  Angry

THE BOARD AT THE GATE
It was a common gate for all Egyptair Express flights , and MS staff were calling by flight numbers . There were 2 flights that morning to Luxor , 1 to Aswan , 1 to Alexandria and an Air Memphis to Abu Simbel along with our Mersa Matruh flight .

WAITING AT THE GATE

MS EXPRESS TO ASWAN

RAM B738 TO CMN AND MS A320

RAM

The airport window i was taking this pic through was very dirty as you can see .


MS A330 IN STAR ALLIANCE LIVERY

The A330 in the Star Alliance livery and the A320 in the old MS livery going in different directions symbolizing the pre and the post star Alliance Egyptair .
Boarding started at 8:45 , we were bussed to the Aircraft by a non air-conditioned bus , and it was really hot inside the bus .




Airline: Egyptair Express
Route: Cairo (CAI) - Mersa matruh (MUH)
Flight: MS367
Aircraft: Embraer-170
Dep: 9:15 am (actual 9:05 am)
Flying time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes
Arr: 10:30 (actual 10:15)
Load Factor: 50%



THE FLIGHT ROUTE


MS AND AF TAILS..

MS A320

OUR PLANE



BOARDING

EGYPTAIR EXPRESS TAIL

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH OUR A/C

My first impression when i boarded the plane : It looked clean , fresh and new ( which it is )
Although a small plane , the E-170's inside looks and feels spacious . The only thing that i found inconvenient is the position of the windows in regards to the seat , i found that you have to actually recline the seat to have a good look out of the window . Not sure if anybody else had the same problem .
The windows of the E-170 are quite large , the engines are relatively quiet . But i have to say that the livery of Egyptair Express is horrible .

ALL LEATHER SEATS

The seats are all leather , and they are actually comfortable with a nice light grey and light brown colors .

THE CABIN DURING BOARDING

Today's flight has a quite poor load factor , about 50% .

25/ SEAT PITCH

Legroom is actually bery good , and you can remove both hand rests ( the aisle and the seat side ) for even better seat width .
Push back at 9:05 ( 10 minutes early ) , It was announced on the PA that we would be flying at FL240 .


MS EXPRESS TO ASWAN

We were behind an MS Express flight to Aswan....
AF TO CDG

....And an AF flight to Paris .

AF TO CDG

We took off from Runway 5L23R .

TAKE OFF OVER HAZY CAIRO

NILE DELTA AND NORTH COAST

Our route took us North over the Nile Delta .

THE WING AND THE WINGLET

ALEXANDRIA
We overflew Alexandria , then we made a sharp left (West) turn and kept flying along the Mediterranean coast en route to MUH .

THE SINGLE WASHROOM ON THIS PLANE


The washroom was actually nice and clean .
I was expecting a snack like last year during my Cairo-Hurghada flight when we got a juice box , a slice of cake and coffee or tea .
But to my surprise , there was only a drink service on that flight , i got a sweet Guava juice .

CABIN OVERVIEW

APPROCAHING MUH

OVER THE DESERT
We landed at 10:15 ( 15 minutes early , then we were bussed again to the Airport building . Mersa Matruh Airport is an international Airport that is only served by Egyptair Express 3 times a week .
The airport is very small but spotless clean . It has only 1 departure gate .
10 minutes after arrival , we were outside the Airport .

AERIAL VIEW OF MUH AIRPORT FROM A.NET DATABASE


OUR HOTEL'S SHUTTLE BUS
I was surprised actually to see that the hotel sent a shuttle bus to the Airport as nobody told me anything about it when i originally booked the hotel room . But it turned out that the hotel sends this shuttle bus at the Airport and the Train and bus stations at every arrival . Nice service .


MUH AIRPORT

THE BEACH FROM OUR BALCONY

SHATE AL GHARAM (THE LOVE BEACH)
Note the colors of the water....

THE HOTEL'S RESTAURANT

Our accommodation was on a half board basis , Breakfast and Dinner .


SALAD BAR

EGYPTIAN BREAKFAST SECTION

This section offered typical Egyptian Breakfast item like Foul , Falafel , scrambled egg with Egyptian Garlic pastrami (Basterma) , Arugula leaves (Gargueer) , pickles , salad ...etc.
There was another section for freshly made omelette , baked goods , cereals and corn flakes and all kind of drinks .

DINNER


DESSERT

Bassboussa , petits Fours and caramelized peanuts .

CHINESE MERCHANTS

When we went to the local markets , i was amazed to see about 4 Chinese merchants working in 3 different shops , when we spoke to them in English , they said : Me no English . They were speaking relatively good Arabic .

After talking about Food , it is now time to talk about the most important thing : The Beach .
We enjoyed all kinds of Marine entertainment , we took a Pedalo , and in another day we booked a guided tour of Mersa Matruh beaches by boat , it lasted about an hour and was just marvelous . Jet Ski's and Banana Boats were also available .
Then it was the speeding boat's turn:

SPEEDING BOAT



SAN GIOVANNI CLEOPATRA HOTEL

This is the newest hotel in Matruh , we were told that this hotel is better than ours but that our hotel's private beach is actually superior .

THE EGYPTIAN MARINE FORCES TOP GENERAL'S PALACE

This is actually the Palace of the top General of the Egyptian Marine Forces , it turned out that every top General has either a Palace or a Villa in Matrouh with a private beach  Yeah sure

AL AWAM MOSQUE

The largest Mosque in Mersa Matruh .

OUR HOTEL

This picture was taken from the speeding boat .

TURQUOISE WATER

COLORS








SHRIMP PIZZA AND GUAVA JUICE ON THE BEACH

Mersa Matruh is a nice and quiet coastal city , the absolute advantage of the city is the wonderful white sand beaches and the the absolutely gorgeous turquoise waters . The only problem is the lack of good hotels , especially 4 and 5 stars ones . The city has no 5 stars hotels and only one 4 stars .
After a wonderful week in Mersa Matruh , it was time to head back to Cairo .
Again we took the Hotel shuttle bus to the Airport
We arrived at the Airport at 10 am for the 11 am flight . And for the first time in my history with Egyptair , the check-in agent asked to see the credit card i used when i purchased the tickets online . It didn't annoy me at all . Actually i always thought that this should be the norm . He gave us the boarding passes then we proceeded to the single gate at MUH .


Route: MUH-CAI
Airline: Egyptair Express
Flight: MS368
Aircraft: E-170 (SU-GCW)
Dep: 11:00 am (on time)
Arr: 12:15 pm (actual 12:10)
Flying time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes
Load Factor: 34 passengers (45%)



Boarding started at 10:40 and we were again bussed to the Aircraft .

THE AIRPORT BUS

E-170 SEATS

FRONT SECTION

Although the plane is only Y class , but they had this curtain that separated the 2 front rows of the rest of the cabin , probably a premium Economy class . It is interesting as when you book online , the system doesn't mention anything about a premium class .

DURING BOARDING

MS UNIFORM

EGYPTAIR EXPRESS F/A'S

The captain's name on this flight was Jean-paul , not sure if he was Egyptian . It was then announced that we would be flying at 20.000 Feet .
There were 3 flight attendants on this flight , that is 1 attendant for every 10 passengers , amazing .
Pushback at 11 (on time) , the we taxied for 10 minutes and took off at 11:10 .

TAKE OFF

SAFETY CARDS

DRINK SERVICE

OVER A CITY ON THE MEDITERRANEAN PROBABLY ALEXANDRIA AGAIN [IMG]
http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u...03/HURGHADATRIP/IMG_0409.jpg[/IMG]


We landed at 12:10 pm (5 minutes early) but we taxied for 10 minutes to our stand , while taxiing , i saw an Egyptair B777 newly painted in Star Alliance livery , it was SU-GBR .

Overall , my experience with Egyptair Express was positive , flights on time , nice and clean A/C , nice staff .
But the lack of a snack and the extremely exaggerated ticket price were the only 2 negative points .
I hope you enjoyed it , any comments are welcomed  Smile


Other trip reports:
YYZ-CAI LH A346-AB6
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...ums/trip_reports/read.main/129527/
Alitalia YYZ-MXP-CAI B767-A321
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...ums/trip_reports/read.main/100190/
Egyptair A330 CAI-HRG
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...ums/trip_reports/read.main/100547/
Egyptair B735 HRG-CAI
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...ums/trip_reports/read.main/101018/
CAI-MXP-YYZ Alitalia A321-B767
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...ums/trip_reports/read.main/101712/
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FLIEGER67
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RE: Egyptair Express E-170 CAI-MUH-CAI (70 Pics)

Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:22 pm

Hello, MSYYZ,

thanx for posting this interesting story.

Egypt Air Express and Mersa Matruh, for sure something not that much covered
here on A.net.

That pictures from the beach looked really great, seems like a sunny place for a relaxed stay.

Also your hotel pix and airport details, really interesting.

Regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
mk777
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RE: Egyptair Express E-170 CAI-MUH-CAI (70 Pics)

Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:51 pm

I simply loved this TR. What a fun place Mersa Matruh seems to be, who knew??

The beach, the food, the water, look simply amazing.

The Egyptair express seems like a pretty decent flight for 1hr10min.

Like Markus, i too, love the details about the hotels and airport....hotel beau site seemed pretty good to me....the restaurant looked like a "shack" on the beach...very charming...

Interesting read  Smile
come fly with me
 
ba319-131
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RE: Egyptair Express E-170 CAI-MUH-CAI (70 Pics)

Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:33 pm

Nice report and pictures, thanks.

Always good so see TR's with these 170/190 family planes, a real pleasure to fly on these machines.

Love the pictures, the sea looks so clean and inviting, never fancied Egypt before as a vacation destination, my thoughts are changing.

Regards

Mark
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brightcedars
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RE: Egyptair Express E-170 CAI-MUH-CAI (70 Pics)

Tue Jul 08, 2008 8:39 am

Thanks for this report about a very special destination! We've name our son Alexander and I'm thinking of taking him to Alexandria one of these days, it seems that now we'll have to include a detour by MUH as well.
I want the European Union flag on airliners.net!
 
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airbuseric
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RE: Egyptair Express E-170 CAI-MUH-CAI (70 Pics)

Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:24 am

Nice report! Flights on the E70 are still a bit special, you won't get on these aircraft that often, especially not on MS  Smile The hotels you've been, look very good to me. I would like to be their guest someday too  Wink

Thanks
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
MSYYZ
Topic Author
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RE: Egyptair Express E-170 CAI-MUH-CAI (70 Pics)

Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:59 pm

Here is the last pic in the report , it wasn't working..
OVER A CITY ON THE MEDITERRANEAN PROBABLY ALEXANDRIA AGAIN
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TUNisia
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RE: Egyptair Express E-170 CAI-MUH-CAI (70 Pics)

Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:38 pm

Thanks for this TR!

I really miss Egypt now! I wanted to go to MUH so much after seeing pictures of it a few years back, but we never made it to the Med coast, just the Red Sea and CAI. Have you been to the Siwa Oasis as well?

Again, awesome TR and beautiful pics (I bet there was a lot of people that didn't think Egypt had nice beaches until they saw this TR).
Someday the sun will shine down on me in some faraway place - Mahalia Jackson
 
EXAAUADL
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RE: Egyptair Express E-170 CAI-MUH-CAI (70 Pics)

Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:36 pm

Why is the LF so low? Woth three weekly flights, there seems to be an inbalance between airline seats and hotels. How do most tourists get there?
 
MSYYZ
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RE: Egyptair Express E-170 CAI-MUH-CAI (70 Pics)

Tue Jul 08, 2008 8:40 pm



Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 1):
Egypt Air Express and Mersa Matruh, for sure something not that much covered
here on A.net.

That was my first time flying Egyptair Express , and my second time in Mersa Matruh . And i have to say that i just loved the beach at Matrouh , it was even better than Hurghada's Red Sea .
I believe this is the first report on A.Net to cover both Mersa Matrouh and Egyptair Express .

Quoting Mk777 (Reply 2):
I simply loved this TR. What a fun place Mersa Matruh seems to be, who knew??

Glad you loved it , Mk777 .
Matrouh , the city , is actually an average Egyptian city , but its beaches are top class . It is little known to foreign tourists unlike Hurghada or Sharm El Sheikh but it is a very popular place among Egyptians .
By the way , most of the guests in our hotel were either Egyptian emigrants living in the US and Canada , or Egyptians living and working in the Gulf countries ( Saudia,Emirates...etc . )

Quoting Mk777 (Reply 2):
The beach, the food, the water, look simply amazing

The food in Egypt , in general , is actually very tempting . The Hotel was ok but they could improve their service though , their food was good .
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OHLHD
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RE: Egyptair Express E-170 CAI-MUH-CAI (70 Pics)

Wed Jul 09, 2008 4:54 am

Interesting Trip report!

The E-170 looks nice and clean! Great pics at MUH. Which hotel did you stay in? The beach looks like as if I want to go there. Big grin

Thanks for sharing.
 
MSYYZ
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RE: Egyptair Express E-170 CAI-MUH-CAI (70 Pics)

Wed Jul 09, 2008 1:52 pm

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 3):
Love the pictures, the sea looks so clean and inviting

The water was so clean and clear that you can actually see the fish swimming around you .

Quoting BrightCedars (Reply 4):
Thanks for this report about a very special destination! We've name our son Alexander and I'm thinking of taking him to Alexandria one of these days, it seems that now we'll have to include a detour by MUH as well

Matrouh is much better than Alexandria ( beaches wise ) , it is also less crowded and much less polluted than Alex. .

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 5):
The hotels you've been, look very good to me. I would like to be their guest someday too

The Hotel in Cairo was very good , but the one in Matrouh wasn't that great (except for the food and the private white sand beach) . In fact , the city badly needs some good hotels .

[Edited 2008-07-09 06:53:52]
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semsem
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RE: Egyptair Express E-170 CAI-MUH-CAI (70 Pics)

Wed Jul 09, 2008 3:06 pm

Wow one of the most enjoyable trip reports I have read. I have pictures of Mersa Matruh from the 1950s. The guavas in Egypt were the best which I miss. Thank you for the pictures including the food.

What is the fare from Cairo? I think this route is only operated in the summer. Is there a daily flight?
 
MSYYZ
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RE: Egyptair Express E-170 CAI-MUH-CAI (70 Pics)

Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:15 pm



Quoting TUNisia (Reply 7):
Thanks for this TR!

I really miss Egypt now! I wanted to go to MUH so much after seeing pictures of it a few years back, but we never made it to the Med coast, just the Red Sea and CAI. Have you been to the Siwa Oasis as well?

Hi there TUNisia , glad you liked the report and the pics . I f you have the chance , i strongly recommend Matrouh for its beautiful beaches , they are much better than the Red sea and i would actually call them the Virgin Beaches .
Unfortunately , i have never been to the Siwa Oasis before , but i can only imagine how serene and quiet it would be there  Smile

Quoting TUNisia (Reply 7):
Again, awesome TR and beautiful pics (I bet there was a lot of people that didn't think Egypt had nice beaches until they saw this TR).

Thanks for your kind words  Smile

Quoting EXAAUADL (Reply 8):
Why is the LF so low? Woth three weekly flights, there seems to be an inbalance between airline seats and hotels. How do most tourists get there?

2 main reasons :
1/ A lot of Egyptians prefer to take the bus or the train because it is dramatically less expensive .
2/ A lot of students in Egypt were still writing their final year exams , so i believe loads would get much better starting July .

Egyptair flies thrice weekly between Cairo and Matrouh in the summer and twice weekly in the winter .
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MSYYZ
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RE: Egyptair Express E-170 CAI-MUH-CAI (70 Pics)

Sat Jul 12, 2008 1:00 pm



Quoting OHLHD (Reply 10):
Interesting Trip report!

The E-170 looks nice and clean! Great pics at MUH. Which hotel did you stay in? The beach looks like as if I want to go there

Thanks OHLHD , the Hotel is called the Beau Site , it is one of the oldest Hotels in Matrouh . It was opened in 1959 .

Quoting Semsem (Reply 12):
Wow one of the most enjoyable trip reports I have read. I have pictures of Mersa Matruh from the 1950s. The guavas in Egypt were the best which I miss. Thank you for the pictures including the food.

What is the fare from Cairo? I think this route is only operated in the summer. Is there a daily flight?

The 2 way fare CAI-MUH-CAI incl. all Taxes is $176 . Last year , i paid $59 for a return ticket CAI-HRG-CAI .
This route used to be operated on a Summer only twice weekly basis , but starting this year , it will be thrice weekly in the Summer and twice weekly in the Winter .
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