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Russian may resume flights to Egypt in October: Russian official

A Russian official announced on Tuesday that Russian experts are reporting positive assessment of security measures at Egyptian airports, adding that flights from Russia to Egypt may be resumed in the second half of October, according to Russian state news agency Sputnik.

The comments by director of the Russian Tourist Association Turpomosch Alexander Osaulenko came one day after Egypt’s aviation minister Sherif Fathy said that a Russian delegation was expected to visit Egypt next week to inspect security measures at Egyptian airports, after which Russia would make a decision on whether flights would resume in October.

Moscow suspended passenger flights to Egypt last year over security concerns after the crash of a Russian jet minutes after taking off from the airport at the Egyptian resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh. All 224 people on board were killed in the crash, which was claimed by Islamist militants.

Fathy said on Monday that investigations into the crash are still underway and that a delegation of Russian investigators is currently cooperating with Egypt’s general prosecution before it issues a final report on the cause of the crash.

Britain also halted flights to Sharm following the crash.

Russian, British and Italian tourists make up more than 50 percent of the total number of tourists to Egypt.

The Bristish and Russian decisions to suspend flights to Egypt dealt a huge blow to the country’s vital tourism industry.

Osaulenko told the Russian Izvestia newspaper there is a possibility that the cost of tours to Egypt after flights resume will be higher than rates for similar dates of the previous years.

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