Ministry grants permission for more low-cost internal flights

The Civil Aviation Ministry has granted permission for several local airlines to provide cheap flights between Egyptian cities in order to boost local and international tourism in the run-up to Eid al-Fitr.

In a statement on Sunday, the ministry urged the airlines to start operating such flights before the vacation that marks the end of Ramada. This year, Eid al-Fitr falls on July 6.

Nile Air has already announced its first regular daily flight between Cairo and Sharm el-Sheikh, starting June 30. It will also run flights to Hurghada starting on July 1. Tickets for the Cairo-Hurghada and Cairo-Sharm el-Sheikh flights will start at LE400, according to Ahmed Ali, chief executive of Nile Air.

Government officials hope that such flights will mean a rise in visitors to resorts in the Red Sea governorate, which has been hit by the ongoing slump in Egypt's tourism sector.

Nile Air says that a sixth aircraft has joined the airline’s fleet, and posters advertising touristic and archaeological sites have been placed on the planes in order to encourage tourism among passengers.

The ministry has also licensed two other airlines to operate local flights: the ministry-owned Smart Aviation and AlMasria Universal Airlines.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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