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First Turkish plane lands in Egypt's Sharm El-Sheikh in almost a year

Turkish Airlines is set to operate four flights per week to and from the Egyptian resort; on Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays

Ahram Online , Sunday 11 Sep 2016
Turkish airlines
A Turkish Airlines plane prepares to take off at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul May 15, 2013 (Reuters)
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The first Turkish plane to return to Egypt's Sharm El-Sheikh in over 10 months landed in the early hours of Sunday, carrying 154 tourists of different nationalities, state news agency MENA reported.

The tourists were received with traditional dances and songs, and were offered flowers and candy.

The plane was initially scheduled to land late Saturday, but was delayed for two hours.

Turkish Airlines is set to operate four flights per week to and from the Egyptian resort; on Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Since November 2015, flights from Istanbul to Sharm El-Sheikh have been suspended following the crash of a Russian airliner over central Sinai in October that year, killing all 224 people on board.

A number of European airlines and governments introduced restrictions on flights to Sharm El-Sheikh over security concerns after the Russian airliner disaster.

Egypt has been in talks with Russian and British officials to resume flights to the touristic resort.

The two countries have sent delegations to review security procedures in the Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport, with Egyptian officials predicting flight resumption in as early as October.

The airline's crash was a blow to Egypt's already ailing tourism industry. The number of tourists coming to Egypt dropped by 50 percent in the first half of 2016 compared to the same period last year, according to Egypt's tourism authority.

Tourism revenues during that period witnessed a drop of 60 percent compared to 2015.

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