Egypt makes rapid progress in resolving flight safety concerns: Russian minister

Ahram Online , Friday 7 Oct 2016

Russia’s deputy prime minister said on Thursday that he hopes that air travel with Egypt would resume by the end of the year

The Metrojet's Airbus A-321 with registration number EI-ETJ that crashed in Egypt's Sinai peninsula, is seen in this picture taken in Antalya, Turkey September 17, 2015 (Reuters)

Egyptian authorities are making headway in resolving Russia's concerns over safety of flights to Egypt, Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov said.

"Our Egyptian colleagues have been making very rapid progress in resolving all issues regarding security enforcement," Sokolov was quoted by Russian news agency TASS as saying on Friday.

"I think next year we will fully get back to the passenger flow we used to have," he said.

But another Russian official had said the matter might be resolved earlier.

On Thursday, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said he hoped that air travel with Egypt would be resumed by the end of this year.

He added that Egypt still had a number of security systems to install which have been ordered but not yet delivered.

Moscow grounded all civilian passenger flights to Egypt last year over security concerns after a Russian A321 airbus crashed in 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.

The Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) has said 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.

Tass reported earlier that Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich will hold a meeting next week to discuss the resumption of flights with Cairo at that time, the source added.

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