Egypt, Russia to resume direct flights two years after plane crash

A plane of Russia's Airliner Aeroflot arrives at Cairo International Airport, Egypt. Net photo

CAIRO – Egypt and Russia are scheduled to resume their direct flights within the coming few hours after two years of suspension following a deadly Russian plane crash over Egypt's Sinai Peninsula in late October 2015, Egyptian official MENA news agency reported Wednesday.

Cairo International Airport will receive the first resumed flight coming from Russia in the early hours of Thursday, while EgyptAir will send its flight to Moscow on Thursday as one of its three flights per week.

Claimed by the Islamic State terrorist group, the Russian plane crash in Egypt's Sinai killed all 224 people on board, mostly Russians.

Egypt counts on the resumption of Russian flights as a big push for its tourism sector that has been suffering recession over the past few years.

Before the crash, Russia used to be the number one tourist exporter to Egypt with some 3 million Russians visiting the most populous Arab state every year.

Moscow and Cairo will discuss the resumption of direct flights to Egyptian tourist destinations after the resumption of direct flights between the two capital cities.

Egypt's ties with Russia have been growing since President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi came to office a year after he, the army chief then, removed former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 in response to the mass protests against Morsi's one-year rule.

The plane tragedy did not affect Egypt's relations with Russia, which later signed an agreement to build Egypt's first nuclear power plant in Dabaa city of the coastal Matrouh province.

 

 

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