Wizz Air and easyJet square up with flights from Luton to the pyramids in Egypt

Luton to Sphinx International Airport may sound an implausible flight link. But from October two of Europe’s biggest budget airlines will go head to head on the route from Bedfordshire to Cairo’s second airport.

Fares between the UK and the Egyptian capital are tumbling as a result, with return tickets available for under £120 on Wizz Air in November.

At present the only links from the London area are from Heathrow to Cairo’s main airport on British Airways and Egyptair. The cheapest BA fare The Independent has been able to find in October is £433 return.

Egyptair also flies from Manchester to Cairo’s main airport.

UK to Cairo aviation will be transformed with the new flights. Wizz Air starts flying on 30 October, with easyJet going a day later. Both carriers will operate three times a week: Wizz Air on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, easyJet on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

The distance is 2,190 miles, with a flying time of around five hours.

Sphinx International Airport is a fair distance from the city’s antiquities. It is 20 miles northwest of the great sphinx of Giza and the main pyramid complex. But unlike the main Cairo airport, a fast highway link is available from Sphinx International to the tourist sites.

Giza is also the location for the extremely delayed Grand Egyptian Museum, which is finally expected to open in the next few months.

Furthermore, with a single, modern terminal, the arrival and departure experience at Sphinx International is likely to be relaxed compared with the busy and confusing multi-terminal main airport.

According to the aviation data analyst Cirium, in September Cairo International Airport will see 263 arrivals a day, while Sphinx handles just four or five a day.

Rob Burgess, editor of the frequent-flyer website Head for Points, said: “These are good additions to the existing BA service, which has not been popular since being downgraded to a short-haul aircraft a few years ago.

“Whilst many don’t like the trend to use these aircraft on five-hour-plus routes due to legroom issues, Egyptair usually has at least one London flight per day on a long-haul aircraft with a decent business class.”

Previously British Airways operated long-haul, wide-bodied Boeing aircraft on the route. Currently it uses small Airbus A320 jets.

The new easyJet and Wizz Air services will add to a fast-expanding schedule between the UK and Egypt. Most routes serve the Red Sea resorts of Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada.

A spokesperson for Cirium said: “Flights from the UK to Egypt have taken off in popularity post-pandemic, with the number of departures in September being 65 per cent higher than the same period in 2019.”

Sphinx International Airport is also more convenient for the Mediterranean city of Alexandria than is Cairo’s main airport.

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