Cairo International Airport

Cairo International Airport
Source: Egypt-2A-006 – Cairo International Airport
Airport typePublic
OperatorCairo Airport Company
ServesCairo, Egypt
Hub forEgyptAir
Nile Air
Elevation AMSL382 ft / 116 m
Coordinates30°07′19″N 31°24′20″ECoordinates: 30°07′19″N 31°24′20″E

Cairo International Airport (IATA: CAI, ICAO: HECA) (Arabic: مطار القاهرة الدولي‎; Maṭār El Qāhira El Dawly) is the principal international airport of Cairo and the busiest airport in Egypt and serves as the primary hub for EgyptAir and Nile Air as well as several other airlines. The airport is located in Heliopolis, to the northeast of Cairo around 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from the business area of the city and has an area of approximately 37 square kilometres (14 sq mi). It is the second busiest airport in Africa after OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

Terminal 1

Terminal 1 was originally used by EgyptAir and several Middle Eastern airlines. However, an increasing number of other foreign carriers, such as Air France and KLM transferred operations from Terminal 2 in 2006. In May 2009 EgyptAir moved all its operations to the new Terminal 3 (along with all Star Alliance airlines serving the airport). In March 2010, with the closure of Terminal 2 for major renovation works, all non-Star Alliance airlines serving the airport shifted operations to the terminal.

Departures and arrivals are with all airlines departing from Terminal 1 Hall 1, with the exception Saudia which is the sole tenant of Terminal 1 Hall 2 due to the size of their operations (SV accounted for 65% of Terminal 2’s traffic in 2009). Most international airlines arrive in Hall 3. Arrival Hall 2 was recently reopened and serves international and domestic arrivals.

The CAC has inaugurated the “Airport City Concept” to provide an array of services and entertainment facilities to travelers, airport visitors, as well as the general public. The first phase, a new shopping mall called the ‘AirMall,’ has been built near Terminal 1’s International Arrival Hall 3.

As of 2009 the facade of the terminal was being upgraded. A study on reorganizing the departure and arrival halls is ongoing as well as the feasibility study to include contact stands to improve the service and comfort levels to the passengers. Terminal 1 has 12 gates.

Departures area at Terminal 1
Source: Beebah

Hall 4

Terminal 1, Hall 4 is dedicated to private and executive jet services. Even though it is referred to as a ‘Hall’ under Terminal 1 it is operated independently from the commercial passenger terminal.

Smart Aviation Company has been based at the building since 2007; it moved to a new executive FBO in 2010 adjacent to Hall 4.

Terminal 2

Terminal 2 was inaugurated in 1986 with 7 boarding gates. It primarily served European, Gulf and East Asian airlines. The terminal was closed in April 2010 for complete renovations starting in 2012 and lasting 36 months. The architecture of the building limited the opportunities for further expansion which necessitated the entire building to be closed for major structural overhaul at an estimated cost of approximately $400 million.

In February 2010 the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a loan amount of $387 million to support the Cairo Airport Development Project (CADP) to overhaul the terminal with national banks providing the rest. The project aimed at increasing the terminal capacity from 3 million to 7.5 million passengers annually. The upgrade included the complete modernization of the 20-year-old facility to reach the same level of service as the new Terminal 3. In August 2011, Turkey’s Limak Holding won the tender for modernizing the terminal.

After several project delays, the renovated terminal had its soft opening on 28 September 2016 with a capacity of 7.5 million passengers bringing the airport’s total passenger capacity to 30 million passengers annually. The new terminal has 14 gates and an additional 5 remote stands.

During February 2017, Saudi Arabian Airlines launched its first international “Al-Fursan lounge” at Cairo International Airport Terminal 2. The 1,500 square-meter lounge can accommodate 300 people at a time.

The renovated terminal is operating jointly with Terminal 3 as one integrated terminal via an air bridge, thus, reinforcing the role of Cairo International Airport as a regional hub.

Cairo Duty-Free at Cairo Airport Terminal 2
Source: Amsguc

Terminal 3

Given projected growth, and the limited ability to expand Terminal 2, the Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation began construction of Terminal 3 in 2004. The terminal was officially inaugurated on 18 December 2008 and opened for commercial operations on 27 April 2009. The facility is twice as large as the current two terminal buildings combined, with the capacity to handle 11 million passengers annually (6 million international and 5 million domestic) once the first phase is completed. It is adjacent to Terminal 2, and the two terminals are initially connected by a bridge.

With its hub at the airport, EgyptAir’s operations were overhauled with the full transfer of its operations (international and domestic) into the new terminal between 27 April and 15 June 2009. To implement the Star Alliance “Move Under One Roof” concept, all Alliance members serving the airport were relocated to the terminal by the first of August 2009.

Gate at Terminal 3 Cairo International Airport
Source: Eassa

The new terminal includes:

Seasonal flight terminal

On 20 September 2011 Prime Minister Sharaf inaugurated the new Seasonal Flights Terminal (ST), located west of Terminal 3. During the start-up phase EgyptAir operates its daily flight to Medina from the new Terminal. All Hajj traffic of EgyptAir will move to the ST while Saudia’s Hajj flights will still operate from Terminal 1. More destinations might be added during winter.

The terminal has an annual capacity of 3.2 million passengers with 27 check-in counters and 7 gates with a common gate and single security concept, the first in Cairo. It is designed to handle 1,200 passengers per hour. Passengers will be bussed to remote aircraft stands around Terminal 3. Its purpose is to ease operational strains on the existing terminals during pilgrim seasons.

Airport entrance
Source: Ad Meskens



The airport has four terminals, the third (and largest) opened on 27 April 2009 and the Seasonal Flights Terminal opened on 20 September 2011. Terminal 2 was closed in April 2010 for major renovation works and was reopened on 28 September 2016. A third parallel runway replaced the crossing runway in 2010. Runway 05L/23R is 3,301 metres (10,830 ft) long, 05C/23C has a length of 4,000 metres (13,000 ft), and the new runway is designated as 05R/23L and is 3,999 metres (13,120 ft).

Terminal Transfer

The MiniMetro people mover links Terminal 1, the AirMall, the multi-storey car park and Terminals 2 and 3. The main station is located between Terminals 2 and 3 and is an integral part of the bridge connecting the two terminals. An air-cushioned 1.85 km (1.15 mi) system with top speed 50 km/h (31 mph) was designed and constructed by Leitner-Poma. EgyptAirAirbus A321-231 and Boeing 777-300ER at Cairo International AirportObelisk of Ramses II at Cairo Int. Airport

Airport Hotel

A luxury 350-room five-star Le Méridien hotel opened in front of Terminal 3 in December 2013. The hotel is linked to the terminal by a 230-metre-long (750 ft) skyway that is also equipped with a moving walkway.

Future developments

With the national carrier, EgyptAir, and the Egyptian authorities planning to develop the airport as a hub for the Middle East and Africa, the airport facilities are in constant development.

Several projects are underway, including:

Airlines and destinations


Aegean AirlinesAthens
Air AlgérieAlgiers
Air ArabiaRas al Khaimah, Sharjah
Air Arabia EgyptBergamo, Gassim, Sohag, Tabuk, Ta’if, Yanbu
Air CairoAqaba, Aswan, Hurghada, Jeddah, Luxor, Sharm El Sheikh, Yanbu
Air FranceParis–Charles de Gaulle
Air MaltaMalta
Air SinaiTel Aviv
AlMasria Universal AirlinesJeddah, Kuwait, Yanbu
Seasonal: Aswan, Bergamo, Hurghada, Luxor, Sharm El Sheikh
Asiana AirlinesSeasonal charter: Seoul–Incheon
Austrian AirlinesVienna
Azerbaijan AirlinesSeasonal charter: Baku
Badr AirlinesKhartoum
British AirwaysLondon–Heathrow
Bulgarian Air CharterSeasonal charter: Sofia
EgyptAirAbha, Abidjan, Abu Dhabi, Abuja, Abu Simbel, Accra, Addis Ababa, Alexandria–Borg el Arab, Algiers, Amman–Queen Alia, Amsterdam, Asmara, Assiut, Aswan, Athens, Baghdad, Bahrain, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Barcelona, Beijing–Capital, Beirut, Berlin–Schönefeld, Brussels, Budapest, Casablanca, Copenhagen, Dammam, Dar es Salaam, Douala, Dubai–International, Dublin (begins 25 October 2020), Entebbe, Erbil, Frankfurt, Gassim, Geneva, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Hurghada, Istanbul, Jeddah, Johannesburg–OR Tambo, Juba, Kano, Khartoum, Kigali, Kuwait, Lagos, Larnaca, London–Heathrow, Luxor, Madrid, Marsa Alam, Medina, Milan–Malpensa, Moscow–Domodedovo, Mumbai, Munich, Muscat, Nairobi–Jomo Kenyatta, N’Djamena, New York–JFK, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Riyadh, Rome–Fiumicino, Sharjah, Sharm El Sheikh, Sohag, Tokyo–Narita, Toronto–Pearson, Tunis, Vienna, Washington–Dulles
Seasonal charter: Osaka–Kansai
Eritrean AirlinesAsmara, Khartoum, Milan–Malpensa
Ethiopian AirlinesAddis Ababa
Etihad AirwaysAbu Dhabi
FlyEgyptAswan, Hurghada, Luxor, Marsa Alam, Sharm El Sheikh, Yanbu
FlynasAbha, Dammam, Jeddah, Riyadh
Gulf AirBahrain
IberiaSeasonal: Madrid
Iraqi AirwaysBaghdad, Basra, Erbil, Sulaimaniyah
Jazeera AirwaysKuwait
Jordan AviationAmman–Queen Alia, Aqaba
Korean AirSeasonal charter: Seoul-Incheon
Kuwait AirwaysKuwait
LufthansaFrankfurt, Munich
Middle East AirlinesBeirut, Jeddah
Nesma AirlinesAbha, Gassim, Jeddah, Tabuk, Ta’if, Yanbu
Nile AirAbha, Al Ain, Al Jawf, Aswan, Baghdad, Basra, Gassim, Ha’il, Hofuf, Hurghada, Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen, Jeddah, Jizan, Kuwait, Luxor, Port Sudan, Sharm El Sheikh, Sohag, Tabuk, Ta’if, Yanbu
Oman AirMuscat
Petroleum Air ServicesCharter: Abu Rudeis, Aswan, El Kharga, Hurghada, Luxor, Sharm El Sheikh
Seasonal charter: Antalya, Aqaba, Paphos
Royal Air MarocCasablanca
Royal JordanianAmman–Queen Alia
SaudiaAbha, Dammam, Jeddah, Medina, Riyadh
SaudiGulf AirlinesRiyadh
Sichuan AirlinesChengdu
Sudan AirwaysKhartoum
Sun AirKhartoum
Swiss International Air LinesZürich
Syrian AirDamascus, Latakia
Tarco AirlinesKhartoum
Turkish AirlinesIstanbul
Ukraine International AirlinesKiev–Boryspil
YemeniaAden, Seiyun


Air France CargoBangui, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, N’Djamena, Reunion
CargoluxBeirut, Luxembourg
DHL International Aviation MEBahrain
EgyptAir CargoCologne/Bonn, Istanbul–Atatürk, Milan–Malpensa, Ostend/Bruges, Sharjah
Emirates SkyCargoDubai–Al Maktoum, Frankfurt
Ethiopian Airlines CargoAddis Ababa, Beirut, Liège
Kalitta AirCharleston
Lufthansa CargoFrankfurt, Hong Kong, Milan–Malpensa, Sharjah
RAM CargoCasablanca
Royal Jordanian CargoAmman–Queen Alia, Maastricht/Aachen
Turkish CargoIstanbul–Atatürk
Obelisk of Ramses II at Cairo Int. Airport
Source: Amr-hany

Ground transport

Limousines and shuttle buses

There are several ways to leave Cairo airport upon arrival. The most convenient way is by one of the numerous “limousine services”. Pick-up points are in front of the terminals (curb side). The prices are fixed depending on the destination and the car category, but different providers may charge wildly different prices. Category A are luxury limousines (e.g. Mercedes-Benz E-Class), Category B are Micro Buses for up to seven passengers, Category C are midsized cars (e.g. Mitsubishi Lancer) and new Category D are London Taxis.

Public transport

Public buses leave outside terminal 1 and connect frequently to transportation hubs like Abbasia and Tahrir Square but can be confusing for visitors and are not suitable for persons carrying large pieces of baggage. Line 3 of the Cairo Metro will connect the airport to Heliopolis, Central Cairo and Giza in the future. Intercity buses leave from the bus station located in between the terminals.

Bus Stop in Cairo international airport.
Source: Mo7amedsalim


The taxis usually do not have a meter and prices are negotiated before travelling while the newer white taxis have meters, but will generally refuse to use it when leaving from the airport and charge significantly more.


The airport can be reached via Oroba Road from Heliopolis or via the new road, connection Terminal 3 with the intersection between Ring Road and Suez Road. The toll for driving to the airport is EGP 15.

Accidents and incidents


Source: wikipedia