Egyptair has long been an interesting airline. Located in the one of the largest countries in North Africa, the airline has long had a modest fleet. The airline operates a fleet of A330s and 777-300ERs internationally, with A320s, 737s and E-Jets as well. They have had a sub-par business class product on their planes for a while now, and the airline just started adding wifi to their fleet. As most of the other carriers they compete with, such as Turkish Airlines, have invested heavily on fleet expansion, Egyptair has been mute. It seems the airline will begin to take steps to invest in its fleet and modernize it. The airline is expected to announce an order for 6 Boeing 787s at the Dubai Air Show.
The 787: Ideal for Egyptair
The 787 would be ideal for the airline, given that it could give them fleet uniformity with an mainly all Boeing fleet. The 777s could operate their longer haul and denser routes, while the 787s allow them to replace the A330s, or use them to start new routes that were otherwise not possible without the airliner.
What I Expect
This order could be a great opportunity for Egyptair to announce a new cabin overhaul. Much like EL AL used their new 787s to introduce a leading business class product, Egyptair could do the same. The airline can capitalize on this moment to enhance their brand and become a leader in the region. Turkish Airlines and Royal Jordanian do not offer all aisle access lie flats. The aircraft could come with a brand refresh, but this seems less likely to me.
The Start of Something Bigger?
I suspect this order is the start of something much bigger for the airline. They may be wanting to dip their toes in the water and see if they are ready to invest in a major fleet overhaul program. That is why the order is probably that small, with 6 787s, it’s not a major commitment, but can be a workable subfleet in the airline. If they do decide to refresh their fleet, the airline may choose from multiple aircraft providers. I can see them having a good fit for the 787-8 and the A350-900 and A350-1000. The 787s can replace the A330s and the A350s can replace their 777s as they get older.
I think this is a good move for Egyptair. The 787 is a pretty versatile aircraft, and will offer the airline a chance to refresh their cabin offerings. Egyptair has a lot of potential in my opinion, and should take advantage of their position to develop an hub for Africa at Cairo. The airline could offer connections from the continent to Asia or Europe.
What do you think? Should Egyptair order the 787? Will they end up ordering more? What do you expect from a cabin overhaul if they so choose? Let us know!
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