Air Cairo (SM, Cairo Int'l) is to open a new route between Cairo Int'l and Conakry (Guinea) via Niamey (Niger) during the next northern hemisphere winter to boost diplomatic and economic ties between Egypt and Guinea, according to Egyptian news reports.

A statement by the Guinean Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that discussions in this regard had taken place in Cairo recently between a delegation lead by Guinean Foreign Affairs Minister Ibrahima Khalil Kaba and Air Cairo chief executive officer and chairman Hussein Sherif Fahmi. At the occasion, the airline made a presentation on the opportunities offered by opening the route between the two capitals. It had also seized the opportunity to seek the Guinean government’s support to gain Fifth Freedom rights on the Niamey-Conakry route, the statement said.

The discussions took place on the sidelines of an official visit to Egypt by a Guinean government delegation, aimed at fostering closer trade links between the two countries, according to the Ministry’s social media posts.

Air Cairo's expansion into West Africa is in line with its growth plans in Africa and the Middle East. Other potential Sub-Saharan Africa destinations include Lusaka in Zambia where Air Cairo was recently designated as a carrier. The airline, which is majority-owned by EgyptAir (MS, Cairo Int'l), recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to enter into an economic partnership with South Sudan Supreme Airlines (Juba) to operate a network of regional routes in the countries surrounding South Sudan.

The move is also in line with the Egyptian government's push into new markets to rekindle the economy following COVID-19.

Along with these expansion plans, Air Cairo is growing its fleet of A320-200Ns to nineteen by 2024. As previously reported, the carrier is scheduled to add its first two of the type this year. The airline currently operates a fleet of seven A320-200s.