Air Sinai (Arabic: سيناء للطيران Sīna' lil-Ṭayyarān) was an airline based in Cairo, Egypt. It operated as a 'paper airline' for parent company Egyptair under a wet lease-like agreement[1] to serve flights exclusively between Egypt and Israel.

Air Sinai
IATA ICAO Callsign
Ceased operations2021
HubsCairo International Airport
Focus citiesBen Gurion International Airport
Fleet sizeat time of service termination: 2
Destinationsat time of service termination: 2
Parent companyEgyptair Airlines Company
HeadquartersCairo, Egypt

History edit

Air Sinai's own livery, used in the 1980s
Unmarked Embraer 170 in basic Egyptair Express livery used by Air Sinai

The Egypt–Israel peace treaty signed in March 1979 stipulated that there must be active civilian aviation routes between Egypt and Israel. To fulfill the treaty, Air Sinai was established in 1982 to fly scheduled services between Egypt and Israel (on routes previously flown by Nefertiti Aviation), which for political reasons could not be handled by parent company Egyptair.[2]

Services started using a Boeing 737-200 leased from Egyptair and new routes from Egypt's tourist destinations followed. By the mid-1980s a Fokker F27 Friendship was also in use on these services. During 1982, a Boeing 707-320C was leased and operated on behalf of Egyptair on their flights to Europe, especially twice weekly from Cairo to Copenhagen.[citation needed]

Due to the tense Egypt–Israel relations, the airline operated discreetly: for a long time it had no website, public schedule of flights, markings on planes, signs at the airports, or a way to make online bookings.[2] Air Sinai ceased airline operations in its own right in 2002 and from then on operated as a 'paper airline' for its parent company, Egyptair, using their aircraft without any markings identifying either carrier, although some have been spotted in Tel Aviv in full Egyptair branding. Flights were not listed in Egyptair schedules and did not appear on their website or route maps either.[1][3] As of 2014, Air Sinai flights were displayed on arrival and departure boards at Cairo Airport using the IATA code 4D. In February 2020, online booking was introduced via a website run by a third-party travel agency.[2]

On October 3, 2021, Egyptair commenced operating direct flights from Cairo to Tel Aviv under its livery, bringing an end to the Air Sinai era.[4][5]

Destinations edit

Until 2021, Air Sinai served the following destinations on behalf of Egyptair.[3]


Fleet edit

Due to the nature of its operations, Air Sinai used two unmarked Airbus A220 aircraft, SU-GFA & SU-GFD owned by Egyptair to operate its flights. Other types, including larger aircraft were also used based on operational requirements, with Egyptair markings then being removed. On some occasions, Egyptair branded aircraft have also been utilised.[citation needed]

In September 2019, it was announced the airline would replace Embraer 170 operations with Airbus A220 aircraft operated by Egyptair from 1 March 2020.[6] In December 2019, the first Airbus A220 flight was moved forward to 9 December 2019.[7]

In May 2021, Air Sinai's Airbus A220 have been removed from service, and subsequently begun flying for Nigeria's Ibom Air.[8]

See also edit

Airlines created for political reasons:

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-03-27. p. 66.
  2. ^ a b c Telushkin, Shira (23 April 2020). "The Ghost Airline That Has Linked Cairo and Tel Aviv for Decades". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 3 August 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Hush hush on Egypt's phantom flight to Israel". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  4. ^ "First EgyptAir flight between Cairo and Tel Aviv lands at Ben Gurion Airport". Times of Israel. 2021-10-03. Retrieved 2022-07-19.
  5. ^ Schneider, Tal (2021-09-13). "EgyptAir to launch direct Tel Aviv-Cairo flights next month". Times of Israel. Retrieved 2022-07-19.
  6. ^ "Air Sinai schedules Airbus A220 service from March 2020". 16 September 2019.
  7. ^ Liu, Jim (6 December 2019). "Air Sinai moves forward A220 service to Dec 2019". Routesonline. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  8. ^ "Air Sinai's Airbus A220s Set to Fly for Nigeria's Ibom Air". 31 May 2021.

External links edit

  Media related to Air Sinai at Wikimedia Commons