One of the fastest growing airports in the Middle East

Posted: 1 August 2008 | Jean Pierre Tabet, Chief Commercial Officer, Cairo International Airport | No comments yet

CAIRO International Airport, with a wider range of traveller amenities and the brand new Terminal 3 (currently under construction), promises to make the airport experience more exciting and pleasant for passengers. After the opening of the terminal in the fourth quarter of 2008, Cairo International Airport will comprise of three terminals capable of handling over 22 million passengers.

CAIRO International Airport, with a wider range of traveller amenities and the brand new Terminal 3 (currently under construction), promises to make the airport experience more exciting and pleasant for passengers. After the opening of the terminal in the fourth quarter of 2008, Cairo International Airport will comprise of three terminals capable of handling over 22 million passengers.

The airport’s two current terminals have a combined capacity of approximately 11 million passengers. The tremendous traffic growth of over 15 per cent in the last year, however, has increased CAI’s throughput to reach 12.5 million in 2007, leading to some bottlenecks in peak times. The new Terminal 3 will double capacity at Cairo, and is the key for the future growth of CAI.

The first quarter of 2008 has already shown an increase of 20 per cent compared to the same period of last year. We expect that this growth rate will continue in 2008 due to EgyptAir joining the Star Alliance in July of this year, and the phased liberalisation of the air traffic market in Egypt.

Recent new services by new airlines to Cairo include BMI, which began a daily service from London Heathrow to Cairo on 22 November 2007, initially with an A320 to be upgraded to A330 in the summer 2008, Bourak of Libya, which started a new route between Tripoli and Cairo in March 2008 and Delta Airlines launched a New York JFK to Cairo service in June 2008. We also see great potential in the East Asian Market and are currently talking to several airlines from that region.

Terminal 3

The new terminal, which is scheduled to open in late 2008, will be home to EgyptAir and the Star Alliance airlines serving Cairo. The three level building will provide a modern and comfortable ambiance to all users of the facility. Its design will support CAI’s vision in becoming a regional hub and gateway into Africa and the Middle East. Two of the gates are equipped to handle the A380.

Baggage handling

A fully automated Baggage Handling System with integrated inline screening will ensure the safe and smooth operation of the baggage. The integrated security system fulfils the latest international requirements and sets new standards in this region.

A number of state-of-the-art technologies are being implemented at the airport, including CUSS Self-service check-in kiosks and info-kiosks. The info-kiosk will provide the user with access to a wide range of different information sources such as frequently asked questions, telephone directories, local accommodation, transportation, business facilities, car rental, conference facilities, information on retail and food and beverage (F&B) facilities in the airport, an airport map, parking advice and links to the most important web sites. All this will be in the form of a touch screen technology that can easily be understood by our travellers as well as the ‘Meeters and Greeters’.

Duty Free

EgyptAir Duty Free shops, in Cairo’s new Terminal 3, will revolutionise airport shopping in Egypt. With a total of 3,597m2 of retail space, EgyptAir Duty Free shops will be able to offer passengers a broad array of international brands not available in other airport locations throughout the country. For some brands, which will be introduced in Terminal 3, this will be their initial venture into the Egyptian market.

The Duty Free shops in Terminal 3 will provide an easily accessible, open plan and vastly spacious shopping environment. Each department of the Duty Free shops will be clearly designated and serviced with knowledgeable staff providing excellence in customer service.

Within the fashion area of the Duty Free shops, the introduction of both Marco Polo and MCM are exciting new projects, and like Shiseido within the perfume area, they are brands that are not available on the local Egyptian market. These are just a sample of the exciting new ventures which will propel Egyptian airport shopping onto the plateau of excellence with industry leaders across the region.

New airport hotel

Another attraction for both leisure and business travellers will be the new five star hotel, which is going to be built in front of the new terminal and linked with an air-conditioned, 230 metre long skyway that is also equipped with moving walkways / travelators. The hotel will offer, on 10,000m2 of land assigned for the facility, opportunities for conferences, business meetings, and ultimately the highest comfort. The hotel will include 350 rooms and will be managed by “Le Meridien.”

Food and beverage – ‘expect the best’

The tender was launched in September 2007. The T3 opportunity encompasses the operation of a number of food and beverage outlets in the terminal for a concession period of five years with an option to extend this.

The winner of the major new contract with almost 65 per cent of CAI’s new Terminal 3 food and beverage business is ‘SSP’. Among the facilities on offer will be a food court in the departure area featuring a number of SSP’s market leading brands. These include Upper Crust, Caffè Ritazza, Häagen-Dazs Cafe, Gino’s Pizza and Pasta, The Pie, To Go, Salad Buffet, Burger King, Hippo Bar and Grill as well as an Asian corner, a juice bar and an oriental concept. There will also be a second Burger King and a coffee concept in the departure area/landside. SSP is confident that their new outlets will do much to enhance the experience of passengers travelling to and from Egypt.

The second contract was awarded to HMSHost Europe together with its partner Sabet Group. This contract represents approximately 35 per cent of the expected F&B business in T3.
The five year contract in Cairo includes the development and operation of five food and beverage locations in the new T3.

International Departure

The Heineken Bar – This branded outlet has been specifically developed for Cairo Airport. This unique bar with a contemporary design offers entertainment through several LCD screens at airside. The Heineken Bar is anything but ordinary. The outlet is designed to appeal to and accommodate a broad mix of international travellers.

Finger A – Departure

Coffee Time – this concept attracts all audiences with its characteristic coffee environment offering the popular Segafredo coffee, sandwiches, Sakkara beer and international drinks.

Finger B – Departure

Puro Gusto Café – this is a modern, extremely high quality concept, with its strong personality ‘Puro Gusto” bringing together the tradition of Italian espresso and local dining tastes with the latest trends in food and beverage.

Departure (landside – mezzanine)

Cilantro – the first Cilantro Café was opened in Cairo in 2000, and has been successful ever since. Fresh, healthy, natural and delicious are the key messages in this popular local concept.

Arrival – Mezzanine

Fattoush – a local and regional kitchen inspired concept where east meets west in an assortment of wraps and sandwiches; for which only fresh ingredients and spices are used.

T1 – which accommodates approximately 6.5 million passengers per annum, has been continuously expanded and modernised since its construction in 1963. Now the façade of the terminal is being upgraded. The cladding which includes the landside façades of the terminal 1’s Halls 1 and 2, the water tower and CAC’s administration buildings is only the first phase of a series of work to be done at T1. With ongoing plans to reorganise the department and arrival halls, a feasibility study is also in hand to include a number of contact stands to improve the service and comfort for the passengers.

T2 – The entire terminal’s ‘look and feel’ will improve dramatically once the renovation works are completed. The terminal, which was taken into operation in 1986, includes 10 contact stands. The facility accommodates approximately 3.5 million passengers per year and houses most of the international airlines. The upgrade of Terminal 2 shall include a modernisation of the 20 year old facility to reach the same level of service as the new Terminal 3, since both terminals will be operated ‘under one roof’ in the near future. NACO/ECG were assigned to prepare three different scenarios for Terminal 2’s re-development. The draft report was submitted in April.

Upon completion in 2012, the passengers can expect a highly enhanced, modern design terminal, offering international standard service levels and more passenger convenience to include a large and appealing retail area and lounges.

Automated People Mover (APM)

The tender for the construction and supply of an Automated People Mover system linking T1, the AirMall, the Multi Storey Car Park and Terminals 2 and 3 will soon be launched. The APM will integrate into the airport’s infrastructure to ensure a smooth and seamless passenger flow and reduce walking distances for passengers. Based on a ‘Cable Car System’, which is a highly innovative public transportation rope-hauled system, the new APM will be a high-performance, cost-effective solution for passenger transportation at CAI. The main station will be located between T2 and T3, and will become an integral part of the bridge connecting the two terminals. The 1.8 kilometre track will be ready 24 months after the contract is awarded. The system is due to go into operation by the end of 2010.


Looking to the Air Cargo Industry in Egypt and its potential for growth within the current cargo facilities, it became vital for Cairo Airport to develop a new cargo facility, the Cairo Cargo City (CCC). The purpose is to provide state-of -the-art facilities to support the growth in cargo traffic, which reached over 2,000 in 2007.

After finalising the feasibility study in May 2007, the local firm Hamza & Associates, in cooperation with Lufthansa Consulting, was awarded the contract to plan and design the infrastructure and buildings for the new CCC. This is expected to be completed by September 2008, after which CAC will initiate the necessary tender processes to start the construction work. The first phase, which will include a cargo terminal capable of handling 170,000 tons as well as two forwarders buildings, are both expected to go into operation in 2010. The second terminal to be built in the second phase will add another 150,000 tons.

At the same time, and in order to increase the quality level, CAC started negotiations with international and professional handlers to manage and operate the new facility.

Multi-storey (garage) car park

Based on the calculation of a traffic management study, the design of a multi- storey car park was initiated and completed. Located in the T2 car park area, the garage is expected to go into operation by 2011. The tender has already been launched, with the submissions expected by mid June 2008.

In order to execute this multi-storey car park at the actual location, a temporary facility offering a capacity of at least 800 spaces had to be realised. This temporary car park will be located north of the existing remote car park behind the Smash Sporting Club. The construction is now complete and the car park will go into operation just before the peak season starts at the end of June.

New runway

The contract for a new third runway has been signed and the construction work has started. The third parallel runway which is 4,000 metres long (65 metres wide) will replace the current cross runway once it goes into operation in 2009, and will increase the airport’s runway capacity to 120 movements per hour.

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