Monday, March 28, 2011

Egypt Air wipes Israel off the map – a sign of where Egypt could be headed

Israel has quietly dropped off Egypt Air’s route map this week.

The airline’s explanation is that “flights to Tel Aviv are operated by Air Sinai, which is a separate company.” It explains that “our website exclusively show destinations to which our own EA flights travel to.”

I’ve been unable to find a phone number, website or postal address for Air Sinai. That’s because it doesn’t seem to exist. Wikipedia states it “ceased airline operations in its own right in 2002 and operates as a ‘paper airline’ for its parent company, Egypt Air.”

Like a fair few other people, I suspect, I’m wondering if this is a sign of things to come in the Egypt-Israel relationship, because of the growing influence of people who would like to see Israel erased from maps, not just route maps.

Egyptians who backed the movement against Hosni Mubarak, the country’s unlamented former ruler, are beginning to realize that the revolution they sacrificed so much for isn’t headed quite where they’d expected.

Earlier this month, more than three-quarters of Egyptian voters backed constitutional amendments which will facilitate the early election of a new parliament and new president. This gives the Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s best-organized and largest political force, an advantage: its opponents just haven’t had time to get their act together.