Abu Dhabi: EgyptAir will enter a new decade of expansion next year that will see it place an order for up to 70 aircraft to fuel growth and replace older aircraft in its fleet.

The airline has hired aviation consultants Sabre to review its books and map for the next ten years of growth that will see EgyptAir regain lost market share in Europe and Asia, modernise its fleet and add new destinations to its network.

Sherif Attia, the recently appointed chairman and chief executive of EgyptAir Holding, told Gulf News in Abu Dhabi on Sunday the airline will order between 60 and 70 aircraft next year. He said the aircraft will need to be delivered within five years, including 15-20 wide bodies.

In October 2013, Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Abdul Aziz Fadel told Bloomberg that EgyptAir plans to add 60 aircraft to its fleet by 2022. In 2013, it operated a fleet of 81 aircraft.

EgyptAir has also pushed back plans to turn a profit this financial year ending June 30, 2016 until 2017, Attia told Gulf News at the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) Aviation Day Middle East and Africa conference.

The Cairo-based airline would have had to cut back on unprofitable international routes, which would have harmed the business in the long term, to post a profit on time, he said.

EgyptAir is hoping to transform itself into a intercontinental hub airline, transporting passengers east to west, and north to south through its Cairo hub. Attia said the airline will soon sign up to two new codeshare agreements but that most new flights will be operated with its own fleet.

The airline plans to focus on growing in Europe, Africa and Asia, he said.