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South Sudan News

Airport news: Egypt Air to start Juba flights

Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN  Aug 01, 2010

(eTN) - News from Juba confirmed that Egypt Air, a member of the global Star Alliance, will commence flights between Cairo and Juba via Khartoum in early August. Information received indicates that initially two flights a week, on Wednesday and Friday, will route from Cairo via Khartoum to Juba before returning the same way back to Egypt.

The Egyptian government has offered the southern government in Juba an aid package worth US$300 million for infrastructure projects, but there have been concerns in the southern political establishment over Egypt's constant lobbying towards a vote against independence in January next year. More than likely, this is being done to avoid having another country to deal with when it comes to negotiations over the Nile waters, already at a deadlock with the East African water producer countries upstream.

The arrival of Egypt Air on the Juba aviation scene has been broadly welcomed, as after Ethiopian and Kenya Airways, this is the third major African airline now adding Juba to their Africa network. There were some resentments, however, expressed to this correspondent that the flight would have to route via Khartoum, which several of those spoken with coined "unsafe for us southerners when traveling abroad ... they could pick us off the flight any time, and we [would] rather go via Entebbe [with Air Uganda] or via Nairobi or Addis."

Airport news: Egypt Air to start Juba flights
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