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Tuesday, 02 March 2021

New Russian delegation to inspect Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada airports Wednesday: Sources

Russia’s five-year suspension of flights to Red Sea resorts late 2015 has taken a toll on the tourism industry in Egypt

Mohamed Soliman , Friday 22 Jan 2021
Sharm El Sheikh airport
Sharm El Sheikh airport
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A Russian delegation is set to arrive in Egypt Wednesday on a new mission to inspect safety procedures at Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada airports, amid Russia's preparations to resume flights Red Sea destinations after a five-year suspension, sources in the civil aviation ministry told Al-Ahram Arabic website.
 
The inspection tour is scheduled from 27 January to 4 February, acording to the sources.
 
The Russian delegation is set to check security and safety procedures adopted at departure and arrival halls, as well as luggage and passenger-related safety procedures in both airports.
 
The inspection is also set to cover the procedures related to flights, security measures related to airport fences, surveillance cameras and tarmac security systems, as well as employees movements in customs departments and on aircrafts, the source added.
 
The delegation will also meet - during their visit - a number of officials from the civil aviation ministry.
 
Russian charter flights to Egypt’s Red Sea resorts have been suspended since the downing of a Russian flight over Sinai in October 2015.
 
Russia’s flight suspension to Red Sea resorts has taken a heavy toll on Egypt’s tourism industry – a key source of hard currency – since Russian visitors were major contributors to the tourism market in the country prior to 2015.
 
In 2014, three million Russians visited the country and in 2015, 2.4 million Russians visited Egypt before Moscow suspended all commercial passenger flights to the country over the 2015 incident.
 
In the past several years, the Egyptian authorities have tightened and upgraded all safety and security measures at all of the country's airports.
 
Russian aviation and security experts have also inspected safety mesures at Egyptian airports, including Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada, on more than one occasion in the same period.
 
Russia resumed flights to Cairo International Airport in April 2018, ending a 30-month suspension, but did not resume flights to Egypt's Red Sea destinations.
 
Egypt began a gradual resumption of regular international flights on 1 July following a three-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
 
Russia resumed regular international flights to Cairo on 3 September after a six-month stoppage overthe pandemic. 
 
Since July, foreign tourists in groups have been allowed entry into three coastal Egyptian governorates with the lowest coronavirus infection rates in the country – South Sinai, the Red Sea and Matrouh.
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