(eTN) – Following hot on the heels of the introduction of a flight from Cairo via Khartoum to Southern Sudan’s capital city of Juba – now operating twice a week – comes the news that Egypt’s national carrier plans to commence flights twice a week between the Mediterranean city of Alexandria to Khartoum.
Egypt’s policy towards Africa has in recent months taken a new approach by seeking closer trade cooperation with sub-Saharan countries, while affirming the continental strength of Egypt through a range of bilateral aid agreements aimed at supporting a diplomatic offensive. In Eastern African in particular, Cairo-based investment firm Citadel has made inroads recently when acquiring a major interest in near-failed railway concession operator Rift Valley Railways. In particular for the Southern Sudan, an aid offer has been made towards infrastructural projects worth US$300 million.
Egypt Air’s drive for more African routes reflects changing times. In particular, Turkish Airlines has of late aggressively expanded into the continent, and in order to retain the crucial connecting traffic via Cairo Egypt Air, members of the global Star Alliance may well have been prompted into a significant reaction to competitors reaching into Africa for the same market share.