Airbus A319 operated by Aeroflot - Russian Airlines - cc via wikimedia commons
CAIRO – 9 September 2017: Russia and Egypt will meet in the next few days for a round of discussions on the final date for the resumption of flights from Russia to Egypt, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported on Saturday.
A source in the Egyptian government told the Russian news agency that resuming Russian flights to Egypt is an issue of high priority for Egypt and that it has actively pursued a solution. According to RIA Novosti, the source said, “we expect flights to resume between Cairo and Moscow in the very near future.” The source added that “the consultations with technical experts will also continue regarding other airports like Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada.”
Russia, the top source of tourists visiting Egypt, suspended flights to the country following a plane crash in 2015 after taking off from Sharm el-Sheikh airport. The crash led to the deaths of all 224 people on board, and was claimed to have been downed by the Islamic State (IS) group. Furthermore, a number of European countries suspended flights to Sharm el-Sheikh following the crash but have recently reinstated direct flights to the South Sinai tourist hotspot.
On September 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated in a press conference that Russia intended to resume flights to Egypt this fall during his meeting with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in China. In addition, the Civil Aviation media advisor Bassem Abdel-Karim told Egypt Today on Thursday that Egypt is making notable progress in negotiations with Russia in an effort to lift the ban on flights to the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Shiekh. “We have not set a certain time to resume flights or put a timetable, but we constantly communicate with each other and move forward,” said Abdel-Karim.
According to Egyptian state-owned Al-Ahram news agency, Egypt's revenues from tourism dropped to $3.4 billion in 2016, a 44.3 percent decline from the previous year.