EgyptAir has applied to the U.S. Transportation Department (DOT) for exemption authority to operate flights between Cairo International Airport (CAI) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The airline is seeking to launch nonstop flights to Los Angeles before the end of the year, marking a return to the U.S. city after an absence of more than two decades.
EgyptAir previously served Los Angeles in the 1990s, operating via a stopover at New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) aboard Boeing 767-300ER equipment. However, flights were suspended following the crash of EgyptAir Flight 990 in October 1999, which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean about 60 mi, south of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. Since then, the Cairo-Los Angeles market has remained unserved except for a brief period in January 2001.
If approved, EgyptAir hopes to start flights in late October at the start of the winter 2023-24 season. Los Angeles will become the airline’s fourth destination in the U.S., with existing services to JFK, Newark Liberty International Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport. OAG Schedules Analyser data shows that EgyptAir is currently the sole provider of nonstop flights between Egypt and the U.S.
EgyptAir’s application to DOT states that its proposed Los Angeles service would expand its existing service to New York and Washington, D.C., and would provide significant new transportation options for passengers. The airline’s 37-year history of operating successful service to the U.S. demonstrates that it is fully qualified to operate the Los Angeles service, which it has previously served and for which it now requests authority.
According to Sabre Market Intelligence figures, the O&D traffic between Egypt and the U.S. totalled 747,300 two-way passengers in 2022, compared with 664,000 in 2019 before the pandemic. Cairo-Los Angeles was the third-largest city pair last year, accounting for 65,300 two-way O&D passengers, behind Cairo-New York and Cairo-Washington.