Egypt welcomes back Russian flights on 1st October
Russian flights would be returned to Egypt’s Red Sea resort cities of Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh flights from Moscow on October 1., according to a statement of Russia’s national flag carrier Aeroflot on Tuesday.
In the time of Russia’s war, flights from Egypt to both Red Sea cities were cut off in March, a hiatus that hit Egypt’s economy hard since the two warring countries account for about 30 per cent of its incoming tourists every year.
Aeroflot’s online booking system added that there will be a daily flight to Sharm El Sheikh and another to Hurghada starting on October 1.
Notwithstanding, Cairo-bound flights from Sochi, the Russian city, were allowed to resume in April, according to Russian state media. There was a significant dip in the number of incoming Russian and Ukrainian tourists this year compared to last, a July statement from Egypt’s Cabinet stated.
In February, Russia’s ambassador to Egypt stated that 125,000 tourists from his country had visited various Egyptian cities in the first two weeks of 2022. This is a number that had made Egypt’s tourism sector hopeful that it would find a much-needed respite from the tourism dry spell the country went through in 2020 in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Russian flights to the Red Sea were returned in July of last year following a six-year hiatus after being suspended in 2015 due to Russian plane was taking off from Sharm El Sheikh’s airport and shortly crashed over the Sinai Peninsula. All 224 people on board were killed due to this crash. An ISIS-affiliated terror cell claimed responsibility for the attack of the crash plane.
Russia resumed its flights to Cairo in 2018. A number of tourism workers in Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh reported The National last year that they were delighted to see the return of Russian tourists to the Red Sea after the dry spell that witnessed both cities mainly vacated and many of their establishments shuttered for years.
Egypt’s foreign reserves reach record lows in this year. This causes concern among Egypt’s government officials, many of whom have explicitly blamed the Russia-Ukraine war for the drop in tourism revenues and for other aspects of the economic crisis.