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in Air Transport / Business Aviation

Smart move by business operator to launch new airline: ATR and Bombardier in the frame

Posted 23 April 2010 · Add Comment

Smart Aviation, the executive and air-ambulance operator in Cairo is to launch a new airline to capitalise on the potential growth of domestic and regional routes in Egypt.

The company – which currently operates five Cessna Sovereigns – is considering bids from both ATR for its 72-500 and Bombardier for is Dash 8-400s.

A decision is likely to be made early in May with the successful bidder being expected to deliver two aircraft by the end of the year with operations to begin early in 2011.

The new airline will hold options on three further aircraft.

Smart is a joint-stock company which shares held by the Egyptian find for civil aviation, Egypt Air Holding, the Airport company and the Navigation company – all government-linked entities.

Chairman and CEO, General Wael Amin Elmaadawy said the turboprops taking between 60 and 70 passengers, would create a new market for air transport in Egypt.

“We don’t need expensive large airports and long runways,” Elmaadawy said. “Our plan would be to base the aircraft at Cairo International and then fly to a day-base at somewhere like Sharm el Sheik or Aswan and operate routes from there to key places throughout the country or neighbouring countries such as Aqaba in Jordan or Beirut.

“We will bring places together  where a route does not currently exist.”

Elmaadawy and his vice chairman, technical affairs, Radwan Sallam were previously with Egypt’s Petroleum Air Service (PAS) which operated a fleet of  Bombardier Dash 8-300s.

“We have a lot of experience with turboprops and understand the operating costs,” Elmaadawy said. “We believe we this will allow us to control the costs and our experience with the executive aircraft means we understand the customer service and quality. We want to offer a quality service for a low cost price.

“For tourists and for ordinary Egyptian citizens who may be flying for the first time, we want this to be a good experience.”

The aircraft will be fitted with an In Flight entertainment (IFE) system which the company will introduce on missions longer than two hours.

The new airline – which will have the Smart brand – will operate from Cairo’s main airport, although not from the new executive FBO being built for company next to Hall 4 – the current VIP terminal.

“We are building a 4,000 sq metre hangar which will incorporate our business jets and the turboprops,” he said. The company is working towards Cessna approvals as a repair centre as well as FAA approval


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