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Egypt opens new international airport in Giza for trial flights

By Reuters - Jan 27,2019 - Last updated at Jan 27,2019

A man takes his luggage after arriving at the new Sphinx International Airport in west Cairo, Egypt, on Saturday (Reuters photo)

CAIRO — Egypt opened a new international airport on the outskirts of the capital on Saturday for an initial trial period, in a bid to ease pressure from Cairo’s main airport and help boost tourism. 

The Sphinx International Airport, located near the Giza Pyramids and the new Grand Egyptian Museum, is expected to operate 30 flights by early February during its trial run.

The $17 million project comes as part of the tourism ministry’s plan to improve accessibility to historical sites from resort areas on the Red Sea, like Sharm Al Sheikh and Hurghada. It will fully open in 2020.

The bombing of a Russian airliner, shortly after it took off from Sharm Al Sheikh, in 2015 hit tourism numbers hard, continuing a downward trend that started with the years of turmoil following the Arab Spring protests of 2011.

Tourism revenues had begun to rebound, jumping 77 per cent year-on-year in the first half of 2018 to $4.8 billion, before a deadly attack on a bus in December killed three Vietnamese tourists and their Egyptian guide.

The bus attack was the first deadly attack against foreign tourists in Egypt for over a year.

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