EgyptAir bans transport of commodities on commercial flights: air cargo industry to suffer

Published November 22nd, 2015 - 06:35 GMT

The air transport industry is facing EgyptAir decision’s to ban the transport of goods on its aircrafts heading to London and US airports, according to Tarek Darwish, head of the transport and air freight commission of the general exporters section at the Federation of the Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC).

Darwish said EgyptAir’s decision, as well as some European airlines, will exacerbate the air transport industry’s losses, which will in turn impacts exporters. There are over 146 air shipping companies that have been suffering from lack of space on commercial flights since the aircrafts used are small.

“The number of aircrafts used for transport is very limited and goods are often transported on commercial flights,” Darwish said. There are over 157 air transport companies working in Egypt, with business size of more than EGP 2.5m per year.

The size of their business reduced over the past four years by 40%, compared to 2010.

The US TSA committee banned the transportation of commodities on passenger airplanes and stipulated that it is necessary for commodities and goods to remain in Cairo Airport for 48 hours and in the transit country for another 48 hours.

According to the owner of a shipping company, who preferred to remain anonymous, the Russian plane crash is one of the main reasons behind the TSA’s decisions, noting that they will have a negative impact on shipping goods, especially vegetables, fruits, and foods in general.

Darwish said the latest decisions will increase the losses of the air cargo industry, and demanded that the Aviation Ministry support companies working in the industry, as the European and US markets are amongst the most important markets to which vegetables and fruits are exported in the winter.

Despite Egypt being party to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which includes nearly 24 countries, there are only eight zones in which EgyptAir’s planes can land. EgyptAir must increase the number of landing zones in these countries by two zones per year since this will open large markets, Darwish said.

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