Kuwait said on Sunday new direct flights to Sharm El-Sheikh will be launched in December in an attempt to boost Egypt’s tourism that was hit hard following the 31 October crash of a Russian airliner in Sinai, MENA state news agency reported.
Kuwaiti information Minister Sheikh Salman Al-Hamoud Al-Sabah, who is currently visiting Cairo, announced that Kuwait Airways would initiate new direct flights to the Red Sea resort.
Al-Sabah’s statements came following his meeting with Egyptian tourism minister Hisham Zaazou.
Al-Sabah stated that the initiative came according to orders given by the Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Al-Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who has been a strong supporter of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, to increase tourism in Sharm.
"We came today to begin many initiatives that would support the tourism sector in Egypt," Al-Sabah says.
He highlighted that the parliamentary elections that are currently being held in Egypt will play a great role in the country’s stability.
In the aftermath of the Russian airliner crash, Zaazou said that the number of tourists will not exceed 9 million by the end of the 2015-2016, which is a 13 percent drop in comparison with the previous year.
Over 72,000 Russian tourists have been airlifted by Moscow from Egyptian resorts on the Red Sea in the aftermath of the crash, which killed all 224 people on board.
Russians comprise the largest demographic of visitors of any nationality to Egypt, making them an important contributor to the country’s tourism industry.
After Russia's aviation agency Rosaviatsia decided to halt EgyptAir flights from Cairo to Moscow earlier this month, Egypt's aviation minister said his country was not officially notified by Russian authorities.
"Egypt is communicating on a high-level with Russia to understand the reasons behind the decision to halt flights," he said at the time.
Tourism minister Zaazou expressed his surprise at the decision to halt EgyptAir flights to Moscow, describing it as "strange" timing.
High security measures have been taken in all airports worldwide, especially in Egypt, following the 31 October crash.