One view shows an Aeroflot Airbus A320 plane (Reuters)
Russia is expected to make the first direct trip to the Egyptian resort towns of Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada on February 28, after a suspension of more than five years following the crash of a Russian flight in Sinai in October 2015.
The announcement was made by Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority chief Ashraf Noweir, who said Russian airline Nordwind Airlines will make two trips per week to Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada from February 28. .
According to Noweir, the Russian move follows the last week-long tour of a Russian inspection delegation that inspected security and protection measures at Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada airports.
Security measures at Egyptian airports were praised by security inspectors from the Russian Transport Ministry, who led the inspection tour, Noweir said.
He added that Egyptian airports adopt all necessary safety and aviation security measures and are well equipped with the latest inspection devices.
The suspension of flights from Russia to Red Sea resorts took a heavy toll on the Egyptian tourism industry – a key source of hard currency – as Russian visitors were major contributors to the tourism market in the region. countries before 2015.
In 2014, three million Russians visited the country and in 2015, before the crash and the subsequent suspension of the flight, 2.4 million Russians visited Egypt.
Since 2015, the Egyptian authorities have improved all safety and security measures at all airports in the country.
As a result of Egyptian efforts, Russia resumed flights to Cairo International Airport in April 2018, ending a 30-month suspension, but has not resumed flights to Egypt’s Red Sea destinations.
In recent years, Russian aviation and security experts have inspected security measures at Egyptian airports, including Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada, on several occasions.
International flights between Egypt and Russia were cut off in March 2020 following the coronavirus outbreak around the world, but Russia resumed regular international flights to Cairo on September 3, nearly two months after. that Egypt began to gradually resume its scheduled international flights on July 1. .
As of July 2020, foreign tourists in groups have been allowed to enter Egypt’s three coastal governorates with the lowest coronavirus infection rates in the country – southern Sinai, the Red Sea and Matrouh.