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Russia, Egypt ministers continue Cairo talks on air traffic resumption

Up to 500 monthly charter flights between Russia and Egypt could be run if charter services are resumed, according to Russian state news agency Sputnik

Ahram Online , Wednesday 28 Sep 2016
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Egypt’s Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi met on Tuesday with Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov who is currently visiting Cairo to have talks on resuming air traffic between both countries.

The officials discussed new security measures being applied at Egyptian airports for passengers and luggage, and technical requirements by Moscow to bolster security in preparation for resuming Russian flights to Egypt, a statement by Egypt's civil aviation ministry said late on Tuesday.

Egypt is studying a bilateral agreement with Russia on security measures and mechanisms, adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) that Cairo will follow after flights are resumed, the statement added.

Moscow grounded all civilian passenger flights to Egypt last year over security concerns after the crash of a Russian jet over Sinai shortly after taking off from Sharm El-Sheikh.

All 224 people on board were killed in the crash, which was claimed by Islamist militants.

Sokolov said during his meeting with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Tuesday that discussions between the two countries on the resumption of flights "have gone a long way" and that air traffic will return "in the near future."

The Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) said on Tuesday that up to 500 monthly charter flights could be run by Russian airlines to Egyptian resorts if charter services are resumed, according to Russian state news agency Sputnik.

Cairo says investigations into the crash are still underway and that a delegation of Russian investigators is currently cooperating with Egypt’s general prosecution, which will issue a final report on the cause of the crash.

The downing of the Russian flight has dealt a blow to Egypt's tourism industry, with tourist numbers dropping by some 50 percent in the first half of 2016 year on year.

Russians make up the largest single tourist group in Egypt, contributing to about a fifth of foreign vacationers in the country as of 2015, according to official data. 

 

 

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