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GlenP
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New Airport for Cairo SPX

Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:38 am

This seems to have been under the radar until now but the Egyptian daily Al Ahram Online is reporting that a new airport is to be opened to the west of Cairo; Cairo International (CAI) being located to the east of the city, specifically with the aim of handling flights by those wishing only to visit the Giza Pyramids and, the as yet unopened, Grand Egyptian Museum.

The new airport will be named Sphinx International Airport (SPX) and construction appears to have been underway for some time. (it can be found on such mapping sites as Bing and Google Maps, to the north of Giza, to the east of the Cairo - Alexandria Road) and is intended to relieve some of the pressure on Cairo International (CAI), which is located to the east of the city.

The article can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/yayzhcz3
Ubique Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt
 
MaverickM11
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Re: New Airport for Cairo SPX

Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:33 am

Smart...destroy your tourism and then build an unneeded airport to cater to the people that are no longer coming.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
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Slash787
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Re: New Airport for Cairo SPX

Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:50 am

I don't know if they need another airport, but they should have reworked on their current airport, the entrance to the airport is so congested, its like one gate for all the passengers.
 
khowaga
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Re: New Airport for Cairo SPX

Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:59 pm

It’s probably not terribly useful with a capacity of 300 passengers per hour. (It also shares the runway with an adjacent military base, so guess where any profit will wind up going.) I recall the initial goal was to wean private traffic (among those who live in the new western suburbs) away from CAI since crossing the city can take hours at peak times. Still, maybe Air Arabia will launch a direct to the Gulf. Or they’ll try to incentivize EasyJet or RyanAir.

I’m also eagerly awaiting the speculation from a certain user who is sure to insist that 3x daily service from SPX-AUS on an MS 773 would be a total success...
 
SCQ83
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Re: New Airport for Cairo SPX

Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:42 pm

I could see this airport attracting European low-cost carriers like Ryanair, easyJet, Eurowings, Vueling... so they don't cannibalise Egyptair at CAI.

Currently CAI has no low-cost service to Europe and some of those carriers fly already to Egypt (U2) or to nearby countries like Israel or Cyprus, so distance is not a problem.
 
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GlenP
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Re: New Airport for Cairo SPX

Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:52 pm

MaverickM11 wrote:
Smart...destroy your tourism and then build an unneeded airport to cater to the people that are no longer coming.


They didn't destroy their tourism.

Foreign governments imposed travel advisories at the time of the January 25 Revolution, re-imposed them at the time of the second revolution, and imposed restrictions or bans on flights to Sharm el Sheikh; this also wasn't helped by the recently lifted laptop bans. None of these can be directly attributed to any action by the Egyptian authorities,

The Red Sea resorts, outside of Sinai, do generate day tripper traffic to Cairo, purely to see "the Pyramids": as most tourists only want to see those at Giza, and the museum (think quick look at some of the most famous pieces and then upstairs to the Tutankhamun galleries.

Bearing in mind that a large part of the Tutankhamun collection has already been moved to the Grand Egyptian Museum conservation labs, prior to display for the soft (i.e. partial) opening, next year, and that this new museum is also located in Giza, it does make some sense to have a more local airport for the above mentioned traffic.

Not much use for International flights, but neither is Abu Simbel International.
Ubique Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt
 
sxf24
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Re: New Airport for Cairo SPX

Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:14 pm

SCQ83 wrote:
I could see this airport attracting European low-cost carriers like Ryanair, easyJet, Eurowings, Vueling... so they don't cannibalise Egyptair at CAI.

Currently CAI has no low-cost service to Europe and some of those carriers fly already to Egypt (U2) or to nearby countries like Israel or Cyprus, so distance is not a problem.


There are no low-cost airlines at CAI because traffic rights are restricted to protect MS. There are fewer restrictions to other airports.
 
khowaga
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Re: New Airport for Cairo SPX

Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:36 pm

sxf24 wrote:
SCQ83 wrote:
I could see this airport attracting European low-cost carriers like Ryanair, easyJet, Eurowings, Vueling... so they don't cannibalise Egyptair at CAI.

Currently CAI has no low-cost service to Europe and some of those carriers fly already to Egypt (U2) or to nearby countries like Israel or Cyprus, so distance is not a problem.


There are no low-cost airlines at CAI because traffic rights are restricted to protect MS. There are fewer restrictions to other airports.


Exactly. But since tourism is in a slump and the airport has a capacity limit (also it’s quite a distance from the Cairo city center), perhaps it could be offered as an LCC alternative to CAI — “Cairo West.”

Or why not HBE? I mean, if HHN is “Frankfurt,” SPX could be “Alexandria South.” It’s just 90 minutes down the motorway! (And, yes, I’m being a wee bit facetious here.)
 
directorguy
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Re: New Airport for Cairo SPX

Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:53 pm

khowaga wrote:
sxf24 wrote:
SCQ83 wrote:
I could see this airport attracting European low-cost carriers like Ryanair, easyJet, Eurowings, Vueling... so they don't cannibalise Egyptair at CAI.

Currently CAI has no low-cost service to Europe and some of those carriers fly already to Egypt (U2) or to nearby countries like Israel or Cyprus, so distance is not a problem.


There are no low-cost airlines at CAI because traffic rights are restricted to protect MS. There are fewer restrictions to other airports.


Exactly. But since tourism is in a slump and the airport has a capacity limit (also it’s quite a distance from the Cairo city center), perhaps it could be offered as an LCC alternative to CAI — “Cairo West.”

Or why not HBE? I mean, if HHN is “Frankfurt,” SPX could be “Alexandria South.” It’s just 90 minutes down the motorway! (And, yes, I’m being a wee bit facetious here.)


HBE is already in a very awkward location-a solid 45-60 minutes from Alexandria itself, on a highway then winding country lanes. No expressway in the real sense, let alone train link. Ironically, it takes just 2 hours to get from Cairo West (where SPX is located) to HBE, meaning they can probably just rebrand HBE as Cairo North lol.

The airport has been "upgraded" and some sort of new terminal has been built, for civilian use. It wasn't clear whether it is for private jet/general aviation, so this news article is great news.
The government (military) has upgraded the Alexandria-Cairo Desert Highway and recently inaugurated a very impressive highway connecting north Cairo (Shubra and Rod el Farag) with El Dabaa on the North Coast.
Cairo West-basically Sheikh Zayed+6th October+adjacent communities is basically suburban, with a lot of affluent residents who travel fairly often, as well as lots of people who live/work in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries. It can also be used by residents of Giza and Fayoum governorates, not to mention people in the western parts of Cairo.
Hypothetically, Cairo West can definitely sustain nonstop flights to JED, DXB (DWC?), KWI, RUH based on a healthy mix of business traffic, VFR, students, pilgrims, and tourists (both sides). Not to mention would be great to see domestic flights to HRG, LXR, SSH etc. from Cairo West. Flydubai, flynas, Nile Air could potentially offer flights.
It's a bit worrying though that they're adding a tourism angle to the airport. While the airport is around half an hour away (down the road, literally) to the Pyramids complex+Grand Egyptian Museum, I seriously doubt anyone will fly all the way to land at Cairo West, visit the Pyramids and turn around back to the airport. Hardly anyone lands at Heathrow because it's close to Windsor Castle for example. Would be great to see them invest in more surface transportation options, connect the airport with other governorates.
 
khowaga
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Re: New Airport for Cairo SPX

Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:07 pm

directorguy wrote:
It's a bit worrying though that they're adding a tourism angle to the airport. While the airport is around half an hour away (down the road, literally) to the Pyramids complex+Grand Egyptian Museum, I seriously doubt anyone will fly all the way to land at Cairo West, visit the Pyramids and turn around back to the airport. Hardly anyone lands at Heathrow because it's close to Windsor Castle for example. Would be great to see them invest in more surface transportation options, connect the airport with other governorates.


I agree, although the pyramids (Giza and Saqqara) and museum are the biggest tourist destinations in the Cairo area, so the comparison with Windsor Castle might not be as good an analogy. While a happy day in Cairo for me is and always has been getting lost in the medieval city and eventually finding my way, there is, sadly, a subset of tourists who view modern Egypt (by which I mean pretty much everything that has happened since, oh, say, the birth of Christ) as a series of inconveniences to be endured only long enough to see the pharaonic stuff. <end rant>

The article does say there is a plan for yet a third civilian airport closer to the new administrative capital. But the SPX location is ideal to build in a cachement other than just Cairo metro - Qalyubiyya, Minufiyya and Fayyoum are all right there. They could even put in a rail line (by which I mean, there’s physical space for a rail link were someone inclined to build one, not that I think it’s likely to happen...) I guess it depends on whether this is a project with planning and thought behind it or just a white elephant contract given out as a reward.
 
directorguy
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Re: New Airport for Cairo SPX

Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:52 pm

GlenP wrote:
MaverickM11 wrote:
Smart...destroy your tourism and then build an unneeded airport to cater to the people that are no longer coming.


They didn't destroy their tourism.

Foreign governments imposed travel advisories at the time of the January 25 Revolution, re-imposed them at the time of the second revolution, and imposed restrictions or bans on flights to Sharm el Sheikh; this also wasn't helped by the recently lifted laptop bans. None of these can be directly attributed to any action by the Egyptian authorities,

The Red Sea resorts, outside of Sinai, do generate day tripper traffic to Cairo, purely to see "the Pyramids": as most tourists only want to see those at Giza, and the museum (think quick look at some of the most famous pieces and then upstairs to the Tutankhamun galleries.

Bearing in mind that a large part of the Tutankhamun collection has already been moved to the Grand Egyptian Museum conservation labs, prior to display for the soft (i.e. partial) opening, next year, and that this new museum is also located in Giza, it does make some sense to have a more local airport for the above mentioned traffic.

Not much use for International flights, but neither is Abu Simbel International.


Unfortunately the Egyptian authorities were slow to restore confidence or to think outside the box. Think botched tourism promotion campaigns, cumbersome visa process for certain nationalities. In some cases they did a lot of harm (think the Mexican tourists incident, and the way the Metrojet crash was handled). Egypt remains a country difficult to do business in. Even at the height of tourism in Egypt, only a fraction of ever goes to Cairo. The overwhelming majority only ever see Hurghada or Sharm. Even then, the majority of tourists in Cairo are from neighboring Arab countries (they don't call them tourists though, presumably they're not as interested in seeing the Pyramids and King Tut).

khowaga wrote:
directorguy wrote:
It's a bit worrying though that they're adding a tourism angle to the airport. While the airport is around half an hour away (down the road, literally) to the Pyramids complex+Grand Egyptian Museum, I seriously doubt anyone will fly all the way to land at Cairo West, visit the Pyramids and turn around back to the airport. Hardly anyone lands at Heathrow because it's close to Windsor Castle for example. Would be great to see them invest in more surface transportation options, connect the airport with other governorates.


I agree, although the pyramids (Giza and Saqqara) and museum are the biggest tourist destinations in the Cairo area, so the comparison with Windsor Castle might not be as good an analogy. While a happy day in Cairo for me is and always has been getting lost in the medieval city and eventually finding my way, there is, sadly, a subset of tourists who view modern Egypt (by which I mean pretty much everything that has happened since, oh, say, the birth of Christ) as a series of inconveniences to be endured only long enough to see the pharaonic stuff. <end rant>

The article does say there is a plan for yet a third civilian airport closer to the new administrative capital. But the SPX location is ideal to build in a cachement other than just Cairo metro - Qalyubiyya, Minufiyya and Fayyoum are all right there. They could even put in a rail line (by which I mean, there’s physical space for a rail link were someone inclined to build one, not that I think it’s likely to happen...) I guess it depends on whether this is a project with planning and thought behind it or just a white elephant contract given out as a reward.


There has been to my knowledge no construction of any hotels or resorts in the vicinity of the airport. So the area is hardly being transformed because of the upcoming Grand Egyptian Museum. Well, a few projects (New Giza for example, Google it) but nothing specifically geared/marketed to foreigners. The GEM doesn't have Metro access and the roads leading to it (the very end of the Alex-Cairo Desert Road) are poor.
Public discourse in Egypt (and the minister's statement quoted in the news article is a good example) always imagines foreign tourists as being one big monolithic blob who want to be flown in, taken to the Pyramids+Egyptian Museum, followed by a visit to Khan Khalili to buy some "authentic" stuff. Perhaps a visit to the Citadel, but if it isn't vaguely pharaonic, then it won't interest foreigners.
The day tourists (or anyone) can land at CAI (or SPX), and take a metro or rail link directly into the city would be the day Egypt really has the infrastructure to serve its own citizens, and the needs of tourists and visitors. But that day is far away (sadly).
SPX would definitely benefit from highways if not rail links to the provinces you mentioned-already to get to SPX, you need to pay LE 10 road toll. So money can definitely be made.

I do however think it odd that they're building/planning an airport in Kattameya (Cairo East) and in the new capital city. Literally three airports (including CAI) next to each other, roughly 20 minutes apart.
 
Qazar
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Re: New Airport for Cairo SPX

Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:09 pm

I was under the impression that the new capital City of Cairo is being built in the South eastern edge of existing Cairo. As this will be the new Government headquarters it makes sense to have an airport there rather than cross the entire city to get to the existing airport on the Western side of Cairo... So it kinda makes sense to have the new airport there to cater to the city expanding in that direction!
 
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atypical
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Re: New Airport for Cairo SPX

Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:15 pm

directorguy wrote:
No expressway in the real sense...


I believe this is true for the entire country. An expressway, in general, is a road that is designed to keep traffic at speed and not slowing down and speeding up. I do not think this kind of road exists in Egypt. They have some very nice highways but they still have roads that X or T into then where traffic must significantly slow down to exit or directly enter from a complete stop. This isn't a criticism of their roadways just a commentary that an expressway is a type of road they feel no need to have.
 
khowaga
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Re: New Airport for Cairo SPX

Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:39 pm

Qazar wrote:
I was under the impression that the new capital City of Cairo is being built in the South eastern edge of existing Cairo. As this will be the new Government headquarters it makes sense to have an airport there rather than cross the entire city to get to the existing airport on the Western side of Cairo... So it kinda makes sense to have the new airport there to cater to the city expanding in that direction!


CAI is on the eastern side of the city. When the new capital is finished it will be in the middle between old Cairo and new Cairo.

There is, apparently, discussion of having yet another airport closer to the new administrative center, which (it sounds like?) would be almost midway between Cairo and Suez. At that point there would be three civil airports: SPX in Giza (far west), CAI (central, east of existing Cairo, north of “New Cairo” and west of the new capitol), and the proposed Kattameya Airport, somewhere to the northeast of CAI (I guess off the Cairo-Ismailiya Road?).
 
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GlenP
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Re: New Airport for Cairo SPX

Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:07 pm

atypical wrote:
directorguy wrote:
No expressway in the real sense...


I believe this is true for the entire country. An expressway, in general, is a road that is designed to keep traffic at speed and not slowing down and speeding up. I do not think this kind of road exists in Egypt. They have some very nice highways but they still have roads that X or T into then where traffic must significantly slow down to exit or directly enter from a complete stop. This isn't a criticism of their roadways just a commentary that an expressway is a type of road they feel no need to have.


The Cairo Ring Road, normally used by tourists for reaching the various Pyramid cemeteries these days; although you do hve to transfer to local roads to get to Dashur and Saqarra, rather than than the Pyramids Road, can be subject to traffic jams, but isn't all that bad.

The real nightmare are the speed humps on even major roads elsewhere. Not only do they inducethe to the kind of stop - start driving you mention but sme of them are so big that even slowing down to a crawl I found there was a real risk of scraping the sills on what was a very small car (ReEnault / Dacia Logan). Even worse was at night, going to and from Luxor airport, where there was a 60 kmph speed limit but you struggled to even approach this for fear of coming upon one of these unmarked terrors.
Ubique Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt
 
user123
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Re: New Airport for Cairo SPX

Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:32 am

This new airport may be very usefull for people of the Alexandria region and that despite of HBE. The reason is that MS with its philosophy made HBE an airport just for the domestic flights (especially to CAI), the gulf region and Istanbul. However, even though Alexandria is at the mediterranen, there are no direct flights from Alexandria to Europe. Even the old Lufthansa connection FRA->ALY was not continued at HBE. If you come by Star Alliance flights MS , Swiss or Austrian you have to change the plane at CAI. And this always makes the ticket price for HBE higher than CAI. So if nowadays we choose to save money by flying from Europe to CAI instead of HBE, we have to accept a very long bus trip from ALex to Cairo airport, because both main bus companys (West Delta and Superjet) still insist on two/ three additional stops in Cairo before reaching Cairo airport. And GoBus doesn't connect Cairo Airport with Alexandria at all.
I hope for new bus connections between SPX and Alexandria, because this airport is on the regular way from Alexandria to Cairo (even for GoBus !!!!). Also consider that even Giza and 6th of October have some millions of people who deserve an airport on their own. And also Fayoum people should not necessarily cross Cairo by car or bus in order to get to their flight.

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