Russia and Egypt are on the verge of opening air links: during his visit to the republic, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia is ready to open direct flights with Cairo. However, there are no details yet, although from Putin’s words it can be assumed that so far we are talking only about the opening of an airline between the capitals, while for tourists a direct flight to the resorts of Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada is important. By the way, in terms of security, Hurghada is out of competition with any other city in Egypt: not a single significant terrorist attack was recorded at this resort, which cannot be said about Cairo or Sharm El Sheikh …
“After the terrible tragedy in the skies over Sinai, direct air communication between our countries was interrupted. During this time, the Egyptian side has done a lot of work to improve the level of security at airports. The Russian Security Service reported to me that, in general, we are ready to open direct flights between Moscow and Cairo, «the Russian leader said during talks with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, according to RIA Novosti. In turn, the head of the Ministry of Transport Maxim Sokolov, who also arrived in Egypt, noted that the resumption of air traffic between Russia and Egypt could take place in February 2018. According to him, Moscow this week will consider the possibility of signing a protocol on the resumption of flights with Cairo, reports TASS.
A senior Russian official and a source in the aviation industry reported to the publication that a direct message could be opened already today a little earlier by the US agency Bloomberg. In addition, the Egyptian media also made an appeal to launch direct flights on Monday morning: the issue of one of the most popular ARE newspapers, Youm7, appeared with headlines in Russian: «Mr. President of Russia, welcome to Egypt!» and «Mr. President, when will Russian tourism return to Egypt?»
Recall that the suspension of flights between Russia and Egypt was the result of a terrible tragedy with the charter flight of the Russian airline Kogalymavia, which crashed as a result of a terrorist attack on October 31, 2015 during a flight from Sharm El Sheikh to St. Petersburg. The victims of the disaster, which became at the same time the largest plane crash in the history of Egypt and the aircraft of the Airbus-A320 family, as well as the most massive plane crash in the history of world aviation in terms of the number of Russian citizens killed in the history of world aviation, were 224 people, including seven crew members.
6 days after the incident, on November 6, 2015, Vladimir Putin, after a meeting of the National Anti-Terrorism Committee (NAC), supported the proposal of FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov to suspend air traffic with the republic and evacuate all Russian tourists vacationing at the resorts of this country. In turn, Rosturizm immediately announced the creation of a coordination headquarters for the evacuation, estimating the number of our tourists in Egypt at 45 thousand people.
From that moment on, the Russian tourist sector found itself in a rather difficult position, having lost the most popular mass winter destination. In Egypt itself, they could not find a full-fledged replacement for the Russian market — a number of hotels closed indefinitely. However, as a little earlier, the representatives of the host companies said, with the return of our compatriots, hotels in Egypt will return to the «staffing table», and there will be enough places for everyone. Read about how the events will develop in the following materials from TURPROM.
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