Each year millions of tourists from around the world choose one of the most popular travel destinations – Egypt. According to Euromonitor reports, despite the socio-political unrest in the region, in 2011 approx. 9 million holidaymakers visited the country. Before the turmoil the figures had been even higher - in 2010 over 14 million had chosen Egypt for their holiday break. As the summer season is the peak period for the travel industry in the region, both local and international air carriers intensify their activities, serve more routes and operate more flights. However, more intense flight schedules mean bigger load on the aircraft which increases the chances of Aircraft-On-Ground situations and the demand for ad hoc aircraft spare parts.
Currently there are about 30 operating airports across Egypt. Slightly less than half of them, including Cairo International, Hurghada International and Sharm el-Sheikh International Airports serve international flights. Throughout the summer season over 50 international air carriers and approx. 18 local carriers conduct scheduled and charter flights to Egyptian travel destinations.
Over 9 million passengers were carried by air in 2010 to/from Egypt. The majority of them visited the country during the summer holiday season. Naturally, air carriers wishing to make the most of the peaking demand were faced with increased load on their fleets.
‘As the summer holiday season is slowly coming to an end, many carriers have already started to address the issue of replacing some aircraft parts and components as well as restoring the related resources. In comparison to the figures observed in June and July, in the first ten days of August we received much more aircraft part inquiries from Egypt (360% more than in June and 180% more than in July),’ commented the CEO of Locatory.com Zilvinas Sadauskas.
Table #1. Regional Component Search Keywords: Egypt
AOG situations are a very serious issue for all carriers. Airlines are always on the look out for more effective spare parts supply solutions that would minimize aircraft downtimes. However, Egypt still sticks out like a sore thumb with regard to the poorly organized component delivery processes. Should a carrier suddenly find itself in need of a particular part or component (which is likely to be stocked at the carrier’s base airport or the pool of the carrier’s component supplier), the inventory may be delivered to the required destination only through the main airport in Cairo (due to import regulations), meaning additional time-related expenses.
‘Local aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) market is rather well-developed, with approx. 15 MRO providers operating within the country. Moreover, local airlines are more than likely to maintain their own spare parts stocks across the country so the Egyptian aircraft spare parts market has the potential to provide the much needed assistance to the foreign carriers that find themselves stuck in AOG situations. They just need to develop a safer and more efficient communication network,’ comments Zilvinas Sadauskas.