Post-volcano, it’s business as usual at Cairo airport

Flights both to and from Europe are back on schedule after volcanic ash clouds originating in Iceland caused major disruptions at the Cairo International Airport (CAI) from 15 to 23 April. A glance and the arrival/departure screens at the airport currently indicate no canceled flights, either to or from Europe.
“We have had regular flights since Friday,” said Islam Mortada at CAI’s information desk.
The enormous volumes of stranded tourists that had accumulated in the airport and at hotels during much of last week, meanwhile, have dissipated. “Tourists that had been sleeping at the airport have returned to their countries,” said Mortada.
Only two days ago, Egyptian hotels had been full to bursting as a result of the week-long crisis. “Now we only have regular guests,” said Ahmed Hamed, a receptionist at Concorde El Salam Hotel. “No one is still waiting around for his or her flight.”
In contrast to one week ago, at the peak of the crisis, vacancies can now be found for many Europe-bound flights.
“Now that the crisis is over, there are vacant seats on Europian flights,” said Fwanda Mostafa, an aviation manager at the Cairo-based Nile Magic Travel Agency.
Both international and national airlines say things are fully back to normal.
“Plane schedules returned to normal two days ago,” said Mohga Mostafa, a manager at national carrier EgyptAir’s foreign affairs office. “Since then, not a single one has been subject to cancellation.”
Egyptian passengers that had been marooned in European airports last week expressed relief that the ordeal was finally over.
“I’m finally back with my family after being stuck in Paris for one week,” said Mona Ashraf, who missed her best friend’s wedding as a result of the crisis.

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