Egypt has approximately 8600 km (about 5300 mi) of railroads, all of which are state owned. The principal line links Aswan and points north in the Nile Valley to Alexandria on the Mediterranean coast. The inland waterways of Egypt—including the Nile, navigable throughout its course in the country, the approximately 1600 km (about 1000 mi) of shipping canals, and the more than 17,700 km (more than 11,000 mi) of irrigation canals in the Nile delta—are used extensively for transportation. Camel caravans are employed to a limited extent in the desert.
Two highways connect Cairo with Alexandria. Other highways connect Cairo to Port Said, Suez, and Al Fayy?m. The total length of highways and roads is about 38,000 km (about 23,600 mi), of which about 18,000 km (about 11,200 mi) are highways. International airlines provide regular services between Cairo and Alexandria and major world centers. Egypt-Air, the government-owned airline, also provides domestic and foreign services; the country has about 80 airfields. The major port is Alexandria, followed by Port Said and Suez, all of which are served by numerous shipping companies. The Suez Canal, which was closed from 1967 until mid-1975, produces substantial annual toll revenues. In the early 1990s about 16,600 vessels used the canal each year.
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