Russia, Egypt finalize security protocol to resume flights

Published March 13th, 2017 - 03:00 GMT
Russia suspended all its flights to Egypt following the Russian plane crash in Sinai in October 2015. (File photo)
Russia suspended all its flights to Egypt following the Russian plane crash in Sinai in October 2015. (File photo)

Russia and Egypt have signed an aviation security protocol which will resume direct flights between the two countries soon, Russian news agency TASS reported.

Russia and Egypt have been holding talks on resuming flights for over a year now. The flights were suspended when a Russian passenger plane crashed in Sinai after taking off from Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport, killing all 224 people on board.

Russian airport security experts have visited Egypt several times since the October 2015 crash to assess the level of security in local airports. The security measures were put in place by the Egyptian government to persuade Moscow to resume its flights to Egypt.

While Russia suspended all its flights to Egypt following the incident, a number of other countries suspended flights to Sharm El-Sheikh as a precautionary measure following the 2015 crash. Many countries have resumed their flights since then.

While the number of tourists visiting Egypt this year could come close to levels registered before its 2011 uprising - encouraged mainly by investments in airport security and a cheaper Egyptian pound - the suspension of flights to Egypt has still impacted heavily on Egypt's tourism industry.

According to Reuters, tourism revenue in Egypt totaled $500 million in the first quarter of 2016, around 66 percent down compared to the same quarter of 2015.


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