Egypt and Russia to resume commercial flights
Commercial flights between Russia and Egypt are set to resume following a two-year suspension, marking a crucial development for tourism in the area.
Russian President Vladimir Putin authorised the resumption of commercial flights between the countries, in a move that is expected to place further pressure on the British government to review its own stance on flights to Egypt.
Amr El-Ezabi, director UK & Ireland for the Egyptian State Tourist Authority, said: “We are very pleased that flights between Egypt and Russia will now resume, as it’s a clear sign of the confidence that the Russian government has in the aviation and airport security standards that Egypt has introduced.
“We hope this will encourage flights back to Sharm el-Sheikh from the UK so that travellers can return to the destination.”
Once one of the top winter sun destinations for British tourists due to its year-round exceptional weather, beautiful beaches and value for money, Sharm el-Sheikh has suffered since flights from numerous European countries to its airport were suspended following the 2015 crash of a Russian Metrojet aircraft shortly after take-off.
Other Egyptian destinations such as Hurghada and the Red Sea Bays have worked hard to gradually replace Sharm el-Sheikh, offering the same year-round beach and diving attractions.
Russia suspended all flights to Egypt, not just Sharm el-Sheikh, immediately after the Metrojet incident, citing security concerns with the airports. The Egyptian government has since invested £20 million to raise airport security standards, with the help a British aviation security firm. All European countries, except for the UK, have now permitted flights to resume.
Egypt’s Minister of Tourism, Mohamed Rashed affirmed that the announcement was a positive step toward returning international visitation figures to Egypt to their 2010 peak by the end of 2018.
EgyptAir will initially operate services from Cairo to Moscow three times per week from February 2018, with announcements on charter flights to holiday destinations resuming expected to follow shortly.