EgyptAir gets $130m loan to combat pandemic impact

EgyptAir gets $130m loan to combat pandemic impact
Egypt and EgyptAir flags are seen in front of an EgyptAir in-flight service building. (Reuters)
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Updated 04 January 2021

EgyptAir gets $130m loan to combat pandemic impact

EgyptAir gets $130m loan to combat pandemic impact

CAIRO: Egypt has granted EgyptAir Holding Co. a loan of 2 billion Egyptian pounds ($130 million) to help the national flag carrier ride the devastating financial impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on the sector.

The Egyptian government will bear the financing of the loan until the airline can return to 80 percent of its pre-COVID-19 capacity.

Egypt’s Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait said the loan was part of the government’s wider support for the country’s beleaguered industrial sector.

He added that the government had so far given 10 billion pounds of support in the form of reduced gas and electricity prices, according to Egyptian newspaper Al-Shorouk.

Maait pointed out that the funding for the airline was necessary in order for it to survive.

“(Airlines) have incurred a total of $651 billion in debts,” the minister was reported as saying, adding that the sector may not fully recover from the impact of the global health crisis until 2024.

Passenger airline traffic in the Middle East showed signs of improvement in October. Figures released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) revealed that the number of people flying on regional airlines during the month was down 86.7 percent year-on-year compared to the same month in 2019, slightly better than the 89.3 percent drop in demand for September.

Globally, traffic was down 70.6 percent compared to October 2019, again a marginal improvement on the 72.2 percent year-to-year slump in September.

Alexandre de Juniac, the IATA’s director general and CEO, said: “While the pace of recovery is faster in some regions than others, the overall picture for international travel is grim.”

Muhammad Ali Albakri, IATA regional vice president for the Middle East and Africa, told Arab News in November that Saudi Arabia and the Middle East would feel the economic impact of COVID-19 on the aviation sector for many years to come.


UAE’s Mubadala Petroleum signs Red Sea oil exploration deal with Egypt

The agreement, signed by Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla, allows the company to explore in a 3,084 square kilometer area of the Red Sea. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
The agreement, signed by Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla, allows the company to explore in a 3,084 square kilometer area of the Red Sea. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
Updated 23 January 2021

UAE’s Mubadala Petroleum signs Red Sea oil exploration deal with Egypt

The agreement, signed by Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla, allows the company to explore in a 3,084 square kilometer area of the Red Sea. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
  • It will own 27 percent of the stake as part of the agreement, while Shell will own 63 percent

CAIRO: The UAE’s Mubadala Petroleum Company has signed an agreement with Egypt to explore for oil and gas in the Red Sea.

The agreement, signed by Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla, allows the company to explore in a 3,084 square kilometer area of the Red Sea and was a result of a bidding round in 2019.

It will own 27 percent of the stake as part of the agreement, while Shell will own 63 percent. Egypt’s Tharwa Petroleum Company owns the remaining 10 percent.

The agreement refers to an area known as Sector 4, located in the north of the Red Sea in an area adjacent to the Gulf of Suez Basin, which is rich in natural resources. 

Parties will commit to conducting exploration studies in this sector and collecting seismic data for the area, using three-dimensional techniques, during the first three years of the exploration phase.

“The addition of Sector 4 in the Red Sea represents a new extension of our operations in Egypt, while providing a valuable opportunity to expand our activities, and by working with a strategic partner such as Shell,” said Mubadala Petroleum CEO Bakheet Al Katheeri. “The search and exploration operations in this sector, if successful, will support our strategy of extracting and manufacturing hydrocarbons, in order to contribute to supporting the stability and expansion of the Egyptian market, while providing growth opportunities for our operations in the country.”

Mubadala Petroleum owns a 10 percent stake in the offshore Shurooq gas field concession that includes the Zohr natural gas field, in addition to 20 percent in the concession area of Noor Gas Company. Both are located in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Egypt.