Passenger traffic across Egyptian airports fell 22.9% in 2016, according to the Egyptian Airports Company (EAC).
A recent company report stated that the number of passengers across all airports in Egypt reached 26.4 million in 2016, down from 34.2 million in 2015.
Yet, air traffic increased at Cairo International Airport, where it rose by 3.5%, while passenger traffic increased by 4% in the same year.
Cairo Airport operated 15,400 flights in 2016, compared to 14,900 in 2015.
The number of passengers increased from 15.8 million in 2015 to reach 16.4 million in 2016.
On the other hand, passenger traffic at Sharm El-Sheikh airport declined to 1.7 million in 2016, down from 5.7 million passengers in 2015, a drop of 69.5%.
The number of flights also declined by 54.3% in Sharm El-Sheikh; where the number of flights settled at 19,300 in 2016, down from 42,400 in 2015.
This followed the downing of a Russian airliner over Sinai on 31 October 2015.
Following the incident, Britain suspended all its flights to and from Sharm El-Sheikh. Russia furthermore issued a travel ban on all flights to Egypt. The two countries represent the largest bulk of inbound tourism to Sharm El-Sheikh.
Russian tourists alone amounted to about 3 million, along with 1 million tourists from Britain.
As a result, the tourism sector in Egypt has been struggling since the incident.
As for Hurghada International Airport, the passenger traffic fell by 57.1%, influenced by the same issues that impacted Sharm El-Sheikh airport.
The number of passengers last year settled at 2.9 million passengers, compared to 6.7 million passengers in 2015.
Aircraft traffic likewise fell by 44.3%, with only 25,400 flights, down from 45,700 flights in 2015.
Collectively, Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada airports lost 7.8 million passengers in 2016, compared to 2015.
The Luxor airport was no different in that regard, since passenger traffic fell by 12.8%, while flight traffic declined by 16.5% in 2016.
Arish International Airport did not operate any flights, with zero passengers—the same as in 2015, as the airport has been closed for the repercussions of security.
The issued report includes statistics on Egyptian air traffic at airports, including all kinds of flights, whether commercial, military, private, domestic, or charter flights.
The Cairo International Airport accounted for 37.8% of the total passenger traffic across Egypt. Sharm El-Sheikh airport accounted for 6.5%, and Hurghada for 11%.
The total number of passengers on international flights reached 22.3 million in 2016, accounting for 85% of all passenger traffic in Egypt across all its airports. The passengers of domestic flights registered at 3.9 million in 2016.
The total number of passengers on international flights at Cairo International Airport amounted to 14.5 million passengers, while domestic flight passengers settled at 1.9 million.
At Sharm El-Sheikh airport, the number of passengers on international flights totalled 1.1 million, compared to 638,000 passengers on domestic flights.
The total passenger count in Hurghada Airport on international flights reached 2.4 million passengers, compared with 461,000 passengers on domestic flights.
The number of passengers on domestic flights to Luxor airport was higher than the number of passengers on international flights, where the first amounted to 331,000; against 260,000 for the latter.
In a 10-year comparison, covering the period between 2007 and 2016, the year 2010 saw the most inbound traffic, with over 40.2 million passengers. The year 2016 was the least fortunate.
During that period, all Egyptian airports combined received around 333 million passengers.
September saw the highest number of passengers at Cairo International Airport, with over 173,000 passengers. December was the best month for Sharm El-Sheikh, having seen 187,000 passengers.
In Hurghada, November was the busiest month, with over 310,000 passengers.
The former chairperson of the Egyptian Airports Company, Gad El-Karim, said that the decline of traffic in Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada airports was mainly caused by their reliance on Russian and British tourism.
He pointed out that a large number of Egyptian airports depend mainly on tourism, which has experienced major turbulences during the last period.
He pointed out that other important tourism markets also took similar measures as Russia and the UK, issuing travel bans to Egyptian destinations.
He explained that the traffic growth at the Cairo International Airport was driven by the stability of the security situation in the capital and increased businesspeople demanding to visit Egypt.