The Best Airlines To Fly Into Cairo, Egypt

best airlines cairo

We may be compensated when you click on links from one or more of our advertising partners. recommendations and opinions are ours alone. See our Advertiser Policy for more details.

Cairo is the ever bustling capital city of Egypt that attracts loads of tourists from all over the world to experience the ancient history.

The city welcomes 15 million travelers a year, many to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World. However, there are also plenty of business travelers in and out of the Egyptian capital marking a rise in their aviation offering.

The city is mainly served by its flag carrier Egypt Air, and even though no major US carriers travel there, other airlines certain offer plenty of routes.

If you are planning a trip to Cairo or just laying over, we will break down the best airlines to fly.

Airports Near Cairo

Cairo is primary served by one major international airport, also marked as one of Africas busiest. The airport serves as the primary hub for Egyptair and Nile Air as well as several other airlines.

AirportTaxi To CenterEst Taxi Price
Cairo International Airport (CAI)30 minutes$3

The airport is located about 22km from the city center and usually takes between 30 – 50 minutes in either a private taxi or public transportation. Note Cairo is notorious for some of the most traffic in the world so if make sure to take this into account after arrival.

The taxi prices are also very affordable by western standards but be diligent as there will be many that will try to charge you an unfair price. The best way to avoid this is to find the official taxi stand or prebook transportation in advance.

The airport itself is very accommodating to arriving or transiting passengers so you will have plenty of service options while you wait.

Airlines Flying To Cairo

If you are departing from the US, there is really only one option to fly direct and that is Egypt Air.

Egypt Air is the flag carrier of the country and operates 1 daily flight from New York JFK directly to Cairo. If you are not based in New York there are still plenty of options with 1 stop on in either Europe or a Middle Eastern country prior to arrival in Cairo.

While its not great to only have 1 city from the US servicing flights this does open up options on some of the best airlines with some of the best seats in the world.

We will help you break down these airlines to find the best options to fly into Cairo in each cabin.

Airfare to Cairo

First off, ticket prices to Cairo don’t come cheap but can vary a lot depending on the season. You can expect to pay between $750 – $900 roundtrip in economy during the off season with peak pricing going well over $1,000 roundtrip. We like using Skyscanner to find the best deal and their compare page makes it easy.

Here is a breakdown of average round trip prices by month.

Skyscanner Cairo Flights by Month

There is also a tool that can run a compare of various cities if you have set dates or months in mind. All you need to do is enter a timeframe for departure and Skyscanner does the rest.

Skyscanner Cheapest Flights to Cairo

You can find all Skyscanner tools on this page here and utilize this info to find the best flight deal.

Best First Class

It feels like barely any airlines offer First Class anymore and on this route there is no direct option with Egypt Air. While we don’t usually recommend taking a 1 stop flight on this route you may not have another choice.

The plus side of this is some of the best airline offer First Class with a stopover and flying one of these seats will truly be worth the experience.

Here are our favorite first class seats and what to expect in each experience.

1. Emirates First Class Airbus A380

When it comes to first-class travel, you can’t go wrong with Emirates’ Airbus A380. The luxury airline really stands out in their first-class cabins, offering private suites, in seat bar, and an exclusive pass to the legendary onboard shower. Emirates offers plenty of routes via US cities and with a layover in Dubai you will be onward to Cairo. A huge plus to this seat is its offering via Air Canada Aeroplan miles that can be booked for about 135,000 points each way. There really are very few first class experiences like Emirates A380 still flying so if you get the chance to book it on this route you won’t be disappointed.

2. British Airways First Class Boeing 787-9

First class is not as common these days but British Airways first class on the 787-9 is easily the best way to fly between the US and Europe. Onboard you can expect a spacious and private suite as well as top notch food and of course great champagne. This route to Cairo via London does come with high taxes but you can expect a very comfortable experience in the Concord Room on your layover in London Heathrow.

3. Lufthansa First Class

Lufthansa First Class product may feel a bit dated but its still a leg up on business class. In first class you can expect a much larger seat, personalized service, and of course plenty of champagne and caviar. The only downside to Lufthansa seats are the lack of privacy, with no door or suite like other airlines. However, this seat is generally very bookable on points at the last minute and should only run you about 100,000 via Air Canada Aeroplan to Frankfurt. Unfortunately Lufthansa doesn’t fly this on the Frankfurt to Cairo route so you will only be getting this seat crossing the pong. If you are able to snag a seat on this flight you will certainly notice the jump in experience from business class.

Best Business Class

Not all business class are made equal so if you are willing to pay a premium for comfort (or shell out some points) we’ll tell you what option would be best. Given the premium that comes with first class, business class cabins on this route can be almost as luxurious as first and easily stand above many other business class offerings around the world.

1. Qatar A350 Q-Suite Business Class

Qatar Airways changed the game when they released their Q Suite business class and it’s easily the best offering on this route to Cairo via Doha. The seats are private suites that can be combined with your partner next to you or even expanded into a 4 person quad pod. It’s hard to beat the amount of privacy and personalized service offered by Qatar Airways. What we like most about Qatar is if you are able to find saver award fare then this route will only cost you 80,000 points one way. For an experience like this that is a steal but make sure you plan to book well in advance as availability is often hard to find.

2. Emirates A380 Business Class

Emirates went through an entire business cabin style refresh and we’re really liking their new sleek interior. While the business class seat arrangement is still in a 2-3-2, you may end up getting stuck in a middle seat that is very unfortunate in business class. Still the Emirates offering is well above most carries with excellent food and even an onboard bar to stretch your legs at. We like that this route is bookable via Air Canada Aeroplan making it more accessible and a layover with access to the business class lounge in Dubai isn’t a bad way to make the journey.

3. Turkish Airlines 787-9

While Middle East airlines are often talked about the most, don’t sleep on Turkish Airlines. Onboard their 787-9, they feature their newest seats configured in a 1-2-1 format. This is by far the most private business class seat you will see on Turkish Airline and tends to mimic the feeling of United Polaris 787. The only down side of this configuration is Turkish only flies it on select routes. One of the best parts of Turkish Airlines is the amount of routes they fly and the award availability that can often be booked with multiple partners. This is why we recommend Turkish Airlines to every award traveler and can certainly find plenty of options on to Cairo.

4. Egypt Air Business Class

Egypt Air doesn’t have the best reputation as an airline but it is certainly trying to improve. Being the only airline to offer nonstop service to the US, you may also find many routes that have 1 stop and continue on via Egypt Air. The airline is complete dry, so even in business class there will be no liquor or beer. The aircraft is typically in a 2-3-2 layout and their seats can certainly use an upgrade. Travelers have mixed experiences on Egypt Air but in our opinion it’s sometimes the best option for the price. You can book this route for only 90,000 Air Canada Aeroplan points each way and given the direct flight we do consider this to be a good option when the time is right.

Best Economy Class

There usually isn’t a major difference in economy class hard product but there may be items some airlines do better than others. However, on long haul routes to Cairo, airlines like Emirates, Qatar, and Egypt air offer Premium Economy, which is certainly a step above a standard seat. While many premium economy seats are similar, we especially like those offering comfortable seats and reasonable food to make us pick one over the other.

1. Emirates Premium Economy

In their cabin refresh, Emirates also updated their Premium Economy to appear very similar to a business class just without the full bed. The premium economy experience has each seat in a 2-3-2 format and offering extra recline making it more comfortable than standard economy. What you really get in this part of the plane is a food service similar to business without the full bed. On the plus side the upgrade from economy to premium economy is only a few $100 and in our opinion is totally worth it for overnight flights to Cairo.

2. Emirates Airlines Economy

Emirates Airlines, once again, is a standout with the plane flying to Cairo looking to have the most comfortable economy class. The layout is a 2-3-2 while most others offer a 2-4-2 layout. Again this won’t make a major difference, especially if you are able to snag one of the 2 seat sections on any of the other airlines. The main difference you will see on Emirates is the level of service that you won’t find as good on any other airline. There are also several routes via Dubai daily that can ensure there is a time that fits your schedule.

2. Turkish Airlines Economy

Turkish Airlines has a solid economy product and why we rank it is because of the options they provide to Cairo. Turkish has again been known for excellent food and even in economy it’s not too bad. Unless you are flying from the West Coast the flight time is just about 9 hours, which should be comfortable enough even in an economy seat. You will also have a comfortable stop in IST and if a Star Alliance Gold will get access to a Turkish Lounge.

Award Flights to Cairo

Airline miles and credit card points are some of the best way to get a cheap if not entirely free ticket to Cairo. If you are unfamiliar with this process read our guide on credit card points and miles.

The fastest way to get airline miles and also the biggest benefit to credit card points is the ability to transfer them to airline partners. If you are looking to increase your balance for a flight to Cairo see the latest offers in our guide to the best credit cards for every traveler.

There are multiple airline partners that fly to Cairo but not all are created equal. If you are planning a trip you will want to consider booking through:

  • Air Canada Aeroplan: Booking options on Egpyt Air, Emirates Airlines, and Lufthansa. Points can be transferred from Chase, American Express, and Capital One.
  • United Airlines MileagePlus: Booking options on Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines, and United. Points can be transferred from Chase.
  • British Airways / Qatar Airways Avios: Booking options on British Airways and Qatar Airways. Points can be transferred from Chase, American Express, Capital One and Citi.
  • Turkish Miles & Smiles: Booking options on Turkish. Expect to pay 65,000 for a one way in business and 35,000 points in economy at the saver level. Points can be transferred from Capital One and Citi.

While there are many more programs that offer points bookings to Cairo, here is why we recommend the above programs and how to book a flight with them.

Air Canada Aeroplan to Cairo

Air Canada Aeroplan provides options on Egypt Air the flag carrier to Cairo. The program is one of our most recommended for travelers because of the great award rates and the sheer amount of options.

Aeroplan New York to Cairo Egypt Air

On a nonstop route from New York to Cairo, you can expect to pay the following rates: 40,000 in Economy and 70,000 in Business Class. These are great rates as the same flight from Egypt Air via United MileagePlus is 44,000 in Economy and 88,000 in Business Class.

If you are unable to find rates direct via Egypt Air there are usually several options on Turkish Airlines for the same price.

Aeroplan New York to Cairo Turkish Airlines

The above includes a 1 stop in Istanbul that can also be extended if you want to stay a bit longer for an additional 5,000 Aeroplan points.

The booking process with Air Canada Aeroplan is straightforward as you can transfer points from most major credit cards including AMEX, Chase, Capital One, and Citi. The points from these programs usually transfer instantly but if you just created your Air Canada Aeroplan account you may experience a 1-2 day delay.

Search Award Rates via Air Canada Aeroplan →

United Airlines MileagePlus to Cairo

United Airlines, also a Star Alliance Partner, is another good option for flights on Egypt Air or Turkish Airlines.

United MileagePlus New York to Cairo

United offers both nonstop service and 1 stop service via Turkish Airlines for the same rate of 44,000 in Economy and 88,000 in Business Class.

Unless you have United Miles already in your account, we think its a better option to go with Air Canada. Typically Air Canada will have more availability and can also transfer points from Chase. Regardless United is still a decent option at a reasonable rate.

Search Award Rates via United MileagePlus →

Summary & Takeaways

Cairo as a travel destination is one of the most popular in the world and Egypt is planning to increase this number dramatically over the coming years. While we usually always prefer to fly the flag carrier, in this case Egypt Air, there are certainly better options to get to Cairo even with one stop.

If you are planning to travel to Cairo in the near future then you will certainly have many options and it’s a route that is worth the splurge on those premium seats.

TS Newsletter


Sign up to get the inside scoop on today’s biggest stories in airlines, hotels, and travel — delivered monthly.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments