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First plane arrives from Poland in Egypt’s Sharm after travel ban lifted

As Poland lifted a travel ban imposed last year on Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh, a plane carrying 183 passengers from the Eastern Europe country landed Wednesday morning in the South Sinai resort for the first time since an October 2015 deadly crash of a Russian airliner over the peninsula triggered bans on travel to Sharm.

The passengers were met with roses at the airport as a gesture to celebrate the resumption of flights, Emad El-Belasi, head of the Sharm El-Sheikh airport, was quoted as saying by state news agency MENA.

El-Belasi described the lifting of Poland’s travel ban on Sharm El-Sheikh as a vital step to revive the ailing industry of hospitality in Egypt.

Poles comprise one of the larger tourist groups in Egypt, according to the tourism ministry.

Egyptian tourism, a pillar of the economy and a key source of hard currency, has taken a blow since the plane crashed after taking off from Sharm El-Sheikh.

The Egyptian affiliate of the Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the October crash, saying it had smuggled a bomb on board.

A number of European airlines and governments introduced restrictions on flights to Sharm El-Sheikh over security concerns after the October 2015 Russian passenger jet crashed which killed all 224 people on board, most of whom were holidaymakers.

Last May, Germany decided to “immediately” ease restrictions on air flights between its airports and the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh.

Source: Ahram Online

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