Egypt's cargo air service flies to Moscow for first time since Russian plane crash

Ahram Online , Saturday 24 Dec 2016

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin also told Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi during the week that passenger flights from Russia would resume to Egypt soon

File Photo: EgyptAir (Photo: AP)

EgyptAir cargo service flight flew to Moscow for the first time since the downing of a Russian airliner in Egypt, which was followed by a suspension of flights between the two countries for more than a year, state new agency MENA reported on Friday.

According to informed sources in the country’s flagship airliner EgyptAir, the company’s EgyptAir Cargo flight flew to Russia’s capital Moscow carrying 40 tonnes of fruit and vegetables, MENA said.

The sources added that the trip was based on a signed protocol with the Russian authorities for the delivery of the products, adding that it is expected that other flights would continue to make the trip in the upcoming period.

Several foreign airlines have imposed travel bans on flights to Sharm El-Sheikh after a Russian passenger jet crashed over Sinai in October 2015, killing all 224 people on board, most of them holidaymakers.

The Egyptian affiliate of the Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the crash, saying it had smuggled a bomb on board.

However, Egypt has not concluded its investigations into the cause of the crash.

Since the deadly incident, Egypt has been implementing new, tighter security measures at all its airports.

In recent months, a number of European airlines also resumed direct flights to the popular South Sinai tourist destination, including Turkish, Belgian and Polish companies.

On Wednesday, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin told Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi during a telephone call that Russian flights to Egypt would soon resume.

Negotiations between the two countries to resume Russian flights to Egypt have been ongoing for months, with multiple visits by Russian security services to Egyptian airports to monitor changes implemented by Cairo.

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