Moscow, Apr 11 (AFP) Russia and Egypt are to resume direct flights today following a more than two-year hiatus after a bomb downed a Russian charter over the Sinai peninsula in 2015.
Moscow officials stopped direct flights citing security concerns after the attack, in a major blow for the Egyptian economy, which relies heavily on tourism and had been a popular destination for Russians.
Today evening an Aeroflot plane is due to take off from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport to Cairo, in a first step towards restoring flights to holiday destinations on the Red Sea.
Tomorrow, Egyptair will restart its service between the two capitals, and the two companies will together carry out five return flights between Moscow and Cairo a week.
But the move in itself will not immediately help Egypt’s troubled tourism sector, Russian officials have said.
“Tourists do not need direct flights to Cairo. The transfer from Cairo to sea resorts is long and uncomfortable, and no one will be going there in that way,” Russian Tourism Industry spokeswoman Irina Tyurina told AFP.
“In practice, the situation is the same as it was before, when people would get there independently via Minsk or Istanbul — either big fans of Egypt or Russians who live there,” she said. (AFP) AQS AQS
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.