Photograph — Jet Photos

EgyptAir has been working towards expanding its destinations since last year. As part of this move, it has now reached an agreement with AeroMobile to provide inflight communications services for its Boeing B787-9 aircrafts. This deal will also allow passengers on Boeing B787-9 to enjoy inflight Wi-Fi and Live TV, as well as phone services for calls and texts.  

This week, EgyptAir launched its tri-weekly service on its Boeing B787-9 from Cairo to Washington, only its second US destination, after JFK. Washington is also EgyptAir’s second new destination this year after it added Kigali in April.

Commemorating the occasion, EgyptAir vice-chairman, Mohamed Raafat Elyan, said, “We are confident that there is a huge potential for EgyptAir to compete in Washington and expand to daily service in the near future.” Elyan said the airline was aiming to make inroads into North America, fingering Chicago’s O’Hare international airport as a potential mark.

The airport authorities welcomed EgyptAir warmly. Jerome Davis, executive vice president and chief revenue officer at Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, operator of Dulles International airport, said, “The addition of EgyptAir’s new service at Washington Dulles greatly enhances our worldwide connectivity and adds an important link between Washington, DC and the Middle East.”

EgyptAir ordered six Boeing B787-9s last year and took delivery of its first in March. At the time, chairman and CEO of EgyptAir Airlines Ashraf el-Koly said, “Adding the Boeing 787 Dreamliners to our fleet gives us a more efficient fleet and further upgrades our service quality. In addition, it gives our passengers the comfort and convenience of the Boeing Dreamliner’s advanced aviation technologies.”

The Boeing B787-9 Dreamliner will bear the brunt of these new destinations, and therefore it lines up with EgyptAir’s ambitions that AeroMobile has been hired to refit their planes’ internal communications system. UK-based Aeromobile provides technology and services that allow the safe use of passenger’s mobile devices while in flight. It services some of the world’s largest airlines including Emirates, Qatar Airways, Lufthansa, KLM, and Air France.

The aircraft can seat 309 passengers, with 30 in Business Class and 279 in Economy. It is also twenty percent more fuel efficient than similarly-sized aircrafts, allowing airlines to save money on longer routes. Experts say the longer range will allow carriers to introduce more point-to-point routes so that passengers will have more options and fewer layovers. It is also said to have bigger windows, and it is reportedly the first commercial plane to have electronic dimmers at each seat.

With six of these Boeing 787-9s in the fleet, and by adding Washington to its 76 destinations, EgyptAir will seek to claim a sizable chunk of the aviation market on the continent. The airline will also want to bounce back at a major international airport, following its infamous listing on Heathrow’s list of worst-behaved airlines in 2018, when it recorded the most “noise per seat count’ as well as recorded the most delays.

EgyptAir Holding Company and its subsidiaries achieved a net profit of about $57 million (about LE 951 million) for 2018/2019 fiscal year. It also received twelve new airbuses at the start of the year, furthering its bid to modernize operations and improve quality of service.   

By Caleb Ajinomoh

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