Cairo, Marsa Alam airports receive over 750 Egyptians stranded abroad

Cairo and Marsa Alam International Airports received on Friday six repatriation flights carrying 774 Egyptians from Sudan, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey as part of the country’s plan to bring back home all nationals stranded abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The first plane arrived in the Red Sea resort of Marsa Alam from Khartoum in the afternoon with 170 passengers onboard while a second carrying 32 passengers came from Tunisia in the evening, according to Egypt’s state news agency MENA on Friday.

Two more planes carrying 196 passengers arrived in Marsa Alam from Istanbul, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

Two EgyptAir flights that took off from Jeddah and Riyadh with 587 passengers onboard also landed at the Cairo International Airport.

Egypt began repatriating its citizens in March, when, like many countries, it shut down commercial flights due to the coronavirus.

The country is keeping its airspace open to inbound charter and special flights to transport outbound passengers, and to cargo and domestic flights.

Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has recently vowed to repatriate the Egyptians stranded abroad at the earliest opportunity.

“I assure all Egyptians [stranded abroad] who are listening to me, even if our circumstances are difficult, we will not leave you. As a state, we are obligated to bring home all stranded Egyptians, who are estimated at 3,500 citizens or slightly more, as soon as possible,” El-Sisi said during the inauguration of a number of national projects east of the Suez Canal on 22 April.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on Thursday that authorities are trying to repatriate nationals stranded abroad before the three-day Eid Al-Fitr, the Islamic holiday that concludes the holy month of Ramadan, which is set to begin on 23 May.

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