(ANSAmed) - CAIRO, MARCH 13 - Egypt's Civil Aviation Ministry may prohibit sales of alcoholic beverages in the 67 duty-free Egyptian airport shops operated by Egyptair, the flagship carrier. The decision is part of a crackdown on alcohol - prohibited by Islam - which has intensified since the Muslim Brotherhood took power.
The ban, ANSAmed was told by a Cairo airport source, may lead to
heavy losses, given that the single largest source of revenue are sales of
alcohol and tobacco. ''There has been pressure to stop the sale of alcohol, and
they are looking into whether to ban it entirely or to allow tourists to buy
it,'' the source said. Even before the Muslim Brotherhood won the elections,
Egyptair had banned the sale of alcoholic beverages onboard its aircraft. Last
year the airline also started allowing its flight attendants to wear
The news of a possible ban on duty-free alcohol has come at
an acutely difficult time for Egypt's national carrier, which has suffered some
6 billion Egyptian pounds (about 700 million euros) in losses since the uprising
two years ago. Aviation Minister Wael El Maadawi said that the losses were
''large'' but not ''catastrophic'', and that the company had too many employees:
32,000, compared with the necessary 12,000.
Egypt may ban alcohol sales at duty-free shops