Egypt and Russia’s transportation ministers signed in Moscow on Friday a protocol to resume flights between Cairo and Moscow for the first time since 2015, starting February 2018, Egypt’s aviation ministry said in a statement.
The Egyptian and Russian sides also agreed to hold meetings in April to discuss the resumption of flights from Moscow to Egyptian touristic resort cities, the ministry’s statement added.
The protocol stipulates that the governments of Egypt and Russia will give the green light for airlines to resume flights by 1 February, with each airline scheduling flights according to its own commercial considerations.
Egypt’s Minister of Aviation Sherif Fathy travelled to Moscow on Thursday to sign the protocols with his Russian counterpart Maxim Sokolov.
Earlier on Friday, Sokolov said that that Cairo International Airport has satisfied all the Russian requirements for aviation security.
The Russian minister added that security at airports in Egypt’s Red Sea resorts “need more work,” adding that this will be a mission for the upcoming year.
Flights between Russia and Egypt were halted in 2015 following the crash of a Russian passenger jet in Sinai that killed all 224 people on board.
Since the crash, Egypt has been implementing tighter security measures in its airports to meet Russian demands, with the aim of restoring Russian tourism.
Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in Cairo for the signing of the deal to construct the Dabaa nuclear power plant as well as discuss resuming flights.
The downing of the Russian flight has dealt a blow to Egypt’s tourism industry, a major source of hard currency, with the number of tourists dropping by some 50 percent in the first half of 2016 year-on-year.
Russians used to make up the largest tourist group in Egypt, contributing about one-fifth of foreign vacationers in the country as of 2015, according to official data. Source: Ahram online