Monday, 1 August 2011
Interview: Hussein Massoud, EgyptAir CEO
Full article in JPG format
EgyptAir is no longer in crisis mode. Having lost $140 million in the aftermath of Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow, the flag carrier is bouncing back with a two-phase summer programme which has restored capacity to above 2010 levels. Though its fortunes remain entwined with political events beyond his control, Hussein Massoud, chief executive of EgyptAir Holding Company, is tentatively steering the airline back onto the path of expansion.
“Immediately after the revolution we had a very hard time during February and March,” Massoud tells The Gulf. “There was no previous planning [for civil unrest], and you had a situation where, in just one day in February, we also had to fly home 9,000 Egyptians from Libya.”
The uncertainty that engulfed North Africa led to an immediate drying up of passenger demand. Footfall in Egypt’s airports fell by two thirds as tourists, business people and the country’s diaspora postponed their travel plans, opting to wait until the political situation became clearer. EgyptAir’s revenues plummeted by 80 per cent, and Massoud took the exceptional step of grounding one third of his fleet...