Cairo International Airport received late Wednesday night its first Russian flight in more than two and a half years, ending a ban by Moscow on direct flights to Egypt following the October 2015 deadly crash of a Russian Airbus A321 shortly after taking off from Sharm El-Sheikh airport.
The Aeroflot flight arrived with 120 passengers on board and was scheduled to depart for Moscow at 1:30am CLT.
Travellers from Russia are set to fly to Cairo on Aeroflot Airbus flights 320 and 321 on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays of every week.
Egypt's flagship airline EgyptAir is also set to resume its Cairo-Moscow flights on Thursday morning, the first since Moscow suspended commercial flights between the two countries.
EgyptAir will be flying three weekly flights to the Russian capital.
Russian passengers received at Cairo International Airport on Wednesady night (Photo courtesy of aviation ministry)
Russians have traditionally comprised the largest group of foreign tourists to Egypt, contributing about a fifth of foreign vacationers to the country as of 2015, according to official data.
Moscow's flight suspension has taken a toll on Egypt’s tourism industry, a major source of the country's foriegn currency.
Russian flight resumption is expected to boost Egypt's recovering tourism sector,
In December 2017, following many rounds of negotiations and security inspections to Egyptian airports by the Russian side, President Vladimir Putin issued a decree to resume commercial air traffic between the two countries' capitals.
A new round of talks between the two countries is set for later this month to discuss resuming charter flights from Russia to the Red Sea resort cities of Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh.