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Flights Headed for Egypt More Than 55 Percent Empty for Three Days

Skift Take

Tourism has come to a complete stop in Egypt after continued violent clashes. The empty planes are a stark symbol of how far the country’s tourism economy will have to climb to become profitable once more.

— Samantha Shankman

Cairo airport officials say seven flights to Egypt have been cancelled and that others are arriving with less than 50 percent occupancy following weekend clashes that killed 84 people.

Passengers from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Italy as well as Syria and Lebanon were rerouted Monday onto other planes because of low seat occupancy.

Fewer passengers are coming from Damascus and Beirut because Syrians escaping the war in their country now need visas for Egypt following changes to security rules.

Officials say that more than 55 percent of seats on flights to Cairo have been empty over the past three days. They spoke anonymously as they weren’t allowed to brief the media.

Political turmoil over the past 2 ½ years has hurt tourism in Egypt, weakening the country’s economy.

Copyright (2013) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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