Russia may fully resume flights to Egyptian resorts soon, senator says

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MOSCOW, February 26. /TASS/. Flights from Russia to popular Egyptian resorts may be fully resumed in the near future, Russian Federation Council (the upper house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachev said at a meeting with Egyptian Ambassador Ihab Nasr on Tuesday.

“Now the flights, at least en route from Moscow to Cairo, have been fully resumed. As for other popular routes, we are close to also resuming these routes in full in accordance with the sides’ interests,” Kosachev said.

In late January, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told reporters that Moscow and Cairo were interested in resumption of charter flights from Russia to the resorts of Egypt as soon as possible but no deadline had been set for resolving this issue. The diplomat stressed that even in the absence of charter flights, a significant number of Russian tourists visit Egyptian resorts via third countries.

All flights between the two countries were cancelled in November 2015 after the explosion of Russia’s A320 jet over the Sinai Peninsula on October 31, less than half an hour after takeoff from Sharm el-Sheikh international airport. The terrorist attack claimed the lives of all 217 passengers and seven crewmembers. Russia demanded a considerable tightening of security measures at Egyptian airports as a precondition for the resumption of flights.

In mid-December 2017, Russia and Egypt signed an agreement on aviation security and a special protocol on restoring air service between the two countries. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the decree on resumption of scheduled flights to Cairo on January 4, 2018. The first flight was performed on April 11. Charter flights from Russia to Egyptian resort cities of Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada are still closed.

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