Sameh al-Hefny, chairman and CEO of the EgyptAir holding company, resigned from his post and cleared his office Thursday morning after he was summoned by Civil Aviation Minister Hossam Kamal on Wednesday night.
Hefny’s resignation came after the Administrative Control Authority released a report that was highly critical of the airline’s management. According to media reports, the authority’s statement drew attention to a number of aircrafts that were purchased but not released, the presence of scrap on runways at Cairo International Airport and a piece of land owned by EgyptAir that has been sitting idle and turned into a dumping ground.
In a statement shared on Facebook this morning, Hefny defended his accomplishments as CEO and urged employees not to be discouraged by “rumors” that the airline is falling behind its peers.
Hefny noted that under his tenure, which began March 2014, the company trimmed its losses from LE2.8 billion pounds to LE570 million pounds.
Despite the company’s recent financial improvements, relations between Hefny and Kamal have reportedly been tense for months. Hefny has come under fire for his relationship with the US consultancy group Sabre Airline Solutions.
EgyptAir and Sabre formed a partnership in December 2014, which aimed to “increase revenue, improve efficiencies and explore new revenue streams.”
Among the controversial policies aimed at streamlining the company was the sale of some of EgyptAir’s fleet and the cancellation of some international routes.
The airline has also been plagued by persistent criticisms of mismanagement and waste, and and faced protests from employees, including some 250 pilots who resigned en masse in May.
The pilots, who were protesting against low wages, were persuaded to return to work after President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi intervened.