By Elsa Baxter
'Over the next five years there’s going to be a lot of growth in Africa' - industry expert
Egypt’s aviation sector is predicted to see strong growth in
the next few years as the country’s tourism industry continues to thrive, an
industry expert has said.
Nicolas Watson, director of Egypt’s AVEX International
Airshow, said the popularity of destinations like Cairo is helping to shore up
the emerging African aviation market.
“If you look at how Dubai has built itself up as an aviation
hub, over the next five years there’s going to be a lot of growth in Africa,”
“The main issue is that it’s a great destination but they
don’t have the money right now or the experience in aviation to really maximise
Tourism is one of Egypt’s biggest economy drivers, making up
15 percent of gross domestic product and employing 12.6 percent of the
country’s workforce, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.
Last year, despite the impact of the global recession, the
number of passengers at Egypt’s main airports increased by five percent,
compared to 2008, according to figures by the Egyptian Airports Company (EAC).
Tourist numbers look set to increase further as more
carriers announce new routes to the country, including flydubai earlier this
year, and Continental, which is set to begin daily flights between Newark and
Cairo from May 2011, according to reports.
Egypt's aviation sector has been expected to grow strongly for a long time, not only due to it being a major touristic destination, but also due to its strategic location which, along with the needed infrastructure, can make it one of the world's busiest air travel hubs.