Russian President Vladimir Putin has authorised commercial flights between Egypt and Russia to resume following a two-year suspension that followed the loss of Metrojet Flight 9268 on October 31, 2015. The Russian airliner crashed shortly after take-off from Sharm el-Sheik as is thought to have been destroyed by an on-board explosive device.
“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,” said 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.”
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 says it has since invested £20 million in raising airport security standards and 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.