28 Jan 2020 14:20

Air travel with Egyptian resorts may resume in April 2020 - source

MOSCOW. Jan 28 (Interfax) - A decision to initiate resumption of flights between Russia and the Egyptian resort towns of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh has been made following checks of Egyptian airport security levels by Russian specialists, an informed source in Egypt told Interfax.

"A delegation of Russian security specialists inspected the airports of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh on January 19-23. The commission departed for Cairo on Friday for a meeting with the Egyptian aviation minister; the sides agreed to fully resume air travel. Flights are expected to begin in late April," the source said.

The source said that flights would be resumed in several steps: the sides will start by signing the aviation security protocol if the Russian delegation acknowledges the security of the Egyptian airports, after which the president will issue an order to resume flights, and then the order will be published.

"The Russian specialists were shown check-in counters and boarding gates designated exclusively for Russian tourists in the airports of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh, as well as enhanced aircraft inspections and other measures. Gate numbers have already been assigned," the source said.

Russia suspended flights to and from Egypt in November 2015 after a Kogalymavia flight from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg crashed in Sinai. The incident was recognized as a terrorist attack. Air travel between Moscow and Cairo resumed in April 2018, but there are still no charter flights between Russia and Egyptian resorts as of yet.

Egypt saw over 2.5 million Russian tourist arrivals per year before the flights were suspended.