EgyptAir Cargo (MSX, Cairo Int'l) has dropped plans to open up a non-stop Cairo Int'l-Chicago O'Hare route given surplus bellyhold capacity on its mainline parent EgyptAir's B787-9s.

The cargo division had wanted to use its first of three P2F-converted A330-200s, delivered last year, to open up the service. However, EgyptAir's chairman and chief executive, Ahmed Adel, told African Aerospace that the arrival of the B787-9s and their up-to 10 tonnes of bellyhold freight capacity had completely altered the cargo division's network and fleet planning.

"[..] the cargo [subsidiary] was thinking of operating a direct flight to Chicago. Then, when we opened the Washington Dulles [passenger] route, they found that there is no need… because the bellies of these [Dreamliner] aircraft would be more than enough to move cargo in and out of the United States,” he said.

According to the CEO, EgyptAir Cargo has now revised earlier plans to induct eight P2F-converted freighters, including two A320ceo, given a decline in global shipping demand.

“We converted three [A330s], and then instead of converting the rest, we have shifted the strategy [by] increasing the amount of [passenger] aircraft in the fleet, so increasing the belly volume,” Adel explained.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, EgyptAir's mainline fleet includes four A220-300s, four A320-200s and four A330-200s both slated for imminent retirement given their age (15+ years), four A330-300s, twenty-nine B737-800s, six B777-300(ER)s, six B787-9s, and seven E170s.

The E170s are gradually being replaced by the A220s which, ch-aviation schedules data shows, should replace the bulk of the E170 operations from March 28, 2020, onwards.