Cairo airport to close at night

Cairo International Airport is to close between 01.30 and 05.30 from 1 June "to save energy", according to civil aviation minister Wael al-Maddawy.

The minister said that Terminal 3 – which serves regional traffic – will be kept operational 24 hours a day.

He added that the airport is protected from power cuts because of its backup generators, but that the airport’s revenues were not sufficient to cover the costs of keeping the runways open at night. The minister said the decision came after “a detailed study on the huge reduction in air traffic in the past two years.”

The four-hour closure is seen by analysts as a further sign of the deteriorating economic condition in Egypt which is experiencing increasingly frequent power cuts aimed at saving energy.

The country’s oil ministry recently stated that it did not have enough funds to purchase oil for all of its power stations. It said that fuel-laden ships docked at its ports were unable to unload their cargo as there was no money to pay them.

Egypt’s growing budget deficit is linked to the sharp decline in the nation’s once-lucrative tourism industry since the revolution that overthrew former president Hosni Mubarak two years ago.