Egypt's flagship airline EgyptAir is set to resume Cairo-Moscow flights starting Thursday; the airline’s first direct flight to Russia since Moscow suspended commercial flights between the two countries after a Russian airliner crashed in Sinai in 2015.
In an official statement on Friday, the national airline said that the first flight to Moscow will depart at 9:30am CET from Cairo International Airport's Terminal 2.
Russian flights arriving in Cairo will be received at Terminal 3.
EgyptAir will be flying three weekly flights to the Russian capital.
Last month, EgyptAir said it would offer a 50 percent discount on business class seats on Thursday's flight, as well as a 35 percent discount on economy seats on the flight.
The March announcement by EgyptAir that it would be resuming flights came after Russia’s biggest airline Aeroflot said that it would resume commercial flights to Cairo on Wednesday 11 April.
Russia will be hosting the upcoming World Cup in June, where Egypt will be participating for the first time since 1990.
Russia’s flight suspension has taken a toll on Egypt’s tourism industry – a key source of hard currency – since Russian tourists have traditionally contributed strongly to tourism in Egypt.
Russian tourists have traditionally been attracted to Egypt given its all-inclusive accommodation, Russian-speaking staff and relatively affordable prices.
Last January, a government official said that Egypt’s tourism revenues jumped 123.5 percent year-on-year to $7.6 billion in 2017, with the number of tourists visiting the country during that period jumping 54 percent to 8.3 million.
The number is still well below the 14.7 million who visited Egypt in 2010, one year before the 2011 uprising.