Russian President Vladimir Putin has authorised commercial flights between Egypt and Russia to resume following a two-year suspension, in a move expected to place further pressure on the British government to review their own stance on flights to Egypt.
“We are very pleased that flights between Egypt and Russia will now resume, as it’s a clear sign of the confidence that the Russian government has in the aviation and airport security standards that Egypt has introduced,” says Amr El-Ezabi, director UK & Ireland for the Egyptian State Tourist Authority.
“We hope this will encourage flights back to Sharm el-Sheikh from the UK so that travellers can return to the destination.”
Once one of the top winter sun destinations for British tourists, Sharm el-Sheikh has suffered since flights from numerous European countries to its airport were suspended following the 2015 crash of a Russian Metrojet aircraft shortly after take-off.
Russia suspended all flights to Egypt, not just Sharm el-Sheikh, immediately after the Metrojet incident, citing security concerns with the airports. The Egyptian government has since invested £20 million to raising airport security standards, working a British aviation security firm. All European countries, except for the UK, have now permitted flights to resume.
Egypt’s Minister of Tourism, Mohamed Rashed affirmed that the announcement was a positive step toward returning international visitation figures to Egypt to their 2010 peak by the end of 2018.
EgyptAir will initially operate services from Cairo to Moscow three times per week from February 2018, with announcements on charter flights to holiday destinations resuming expected to follow shortly.