Orascom, Bombardier to build $1.5 billion monorail in Egypt

Updated 04 May 2015
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Orascom, Bombardier to build $1.5 billion monorail in Egypt

CAIRO: Canada’s Bombardier Inc. and Egypt’s Orascom Construction and Arab Contractors will build a $1.5 billion monorail near Cairo, Egypt’s housing minister said.
The 52km project is set to be completed by mid-2018 with funding from a 14-year loan, Mostafa Madbouly said in a statement, without saying who was providing the funds.
The train will connect the Cairo metro system, which is being expanded, to areas west of the capital including 6th of October City and Sheikh Zayed.
Cairo, a centuries-old metropolis where more than 20 million people reside, has suffered for years from crumbling infrastructure and neglect.
Improved public transport could help reduce congestion in streets where commuters compete with commercial traffic, three-wheeled tuk-tuks and donkey carts.
The move comes weeks after the government announced a project to build a new capital southeast of Cairo, a proposal that has received mixed reviews.
Madbouly said technical and financial offers for the rail project had been approved, but Reuters could not immediately reach the companies to confirm the details.
Orascom, an engineering and building business, is controlled by Egypt’s prominent Sawiris family.
It announced plans late last year to build a $3 billion coal-fired power station on the Red Sea coast in a joint venture with Abu Dhabi state fund International Petroleum Investment Co. (IPIC).
According to The Cairo Post, the housing ministry has published a concept design of the train, in which the Mall of Arabia Shopping Center, situated in 6 of October City, appears in the background.
The project aims to serve residential neighborhoods the industrial city.
Although it is classified as part of Giza governorate, 6 of October City is located in the desert far from downtown Cairo and active districts; 17 km from the Giza Pyramids and 32 Km from downtown Cairo.
The monorail project would include 17 stations grouped into two phases; 12 in the first phase and five in the second one.
The monorail project will be implemented by an Egyptian-Canadian coalition, whose technical and financial bid was selected by the Ministry of Housing.


Ryanair’s Irish union extends vote on possible strike action

Updated 1 min 40 sec ago
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Ryanair’s Irish union extends vote on possible strike action

DUBLIN: Ryanair’s Irish union extended a ballot on industrial action by two weeks on Tuesday, saying its members wanted more time to consider the move, which could lead to a strike.
Europe’s biggest budget airline averted widespread strikes before last Christmas by agreeing to recognize trade unions for the first time in its 32-year history.
But the airline, which operates in 37 countries and last year carried some 130 million passengers, has since struggled to reach agreement on terms in some countries.
This has led to minor disruption in Germany and Portugal and the Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association (IALPA) said it would ballot pilots if a new system for dealing with base allocations, promotions, and leave was not introduced.
IALPA began the ballot last week, a letter to members seen by Reuters on Monday showed and the results were due on Tuesday.
However, a memo circulated by IALPA later on Monday said it had extended the vote to July 3, giving pilots more time to consider “such an important matter” and avoiding a clash with a meeting of Ryanair’s unions across Europe organized by the European Cockpit Association.
“It is self-evident that Ryanair and its on-going disputes with pilots across Europe will be a feature on the agenda of the ECA Conference,” it said.
A spokesman for Ryanair, which this month signed its first cabin crew union recognition agreements with staff in Italy and Britain, was not immediately available for comment.