Hurghada International Airport received on Monday the second direct flight coming from Moscow as direct flights from Russian airports to Egypt’s Red Sea resort cities resumed today after a 6-year hiatus.
The second flight carried 500 Russian passengers aboard a plane that belongs to a Russian airline, a statement read.
The airport staff received the visitors with roses and chocolate, with oriental and western music pieces being played amid a state of joy that overwhelmed the airport and tourism workers, the statement added.
According to AP, the Russian flight, FV5361, was operated by Rossiya, a subsidiary of Russia’s state-owned flagship carrier Aeroflot, and took off from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.
The first flight, which was operated by EgyptAir, arrived from Moscow to Hurghada Airport earlier on Monday, carrying 300 Russian tourists.
According to AP, a flight operated by Rossiya will arrive on Monday to Sharm El-Sheikh; and local reports say that another EgyptAir flight from Moscow will also be arriving the following day to the same destination.
In October 2015, Russia suspended direct flights to Egyptian airports following the crash of a Russian flight in Sinai that killed all 224 people on board.
Egypt has since upgraded its safety and security measures at all airports nationwide.
The country also received several Russian security delegations to inspect safety measures at the Red Sea and other airports.
More than 3.1 million Russian tourists came to Egypt in 2014, representing 33 percent of all tourists that year, but they had dropped to an average of 100,000 tourists per year since the airliner crash in 2015.
In April 2018, Russia resumed flights to Cairo International Airport, ending a 30-month suspension, but the Russian ban on flights to Egypt's Red Sea destinations was only lifted last month, as per Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decree.
According to AP, Rossiya appears to be currently the only Russian airline with scheduled flights to Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada from Sheremetyevo airport.
However, Egyptian Ambassador to Russia Ihab Nasr said on Sunday the two capitals are discussing means to increase the number of direct flights between Russia and the Red Sea’s resort cities.
Twenty direct flights will be operated between Moscow and the Red Sea’s Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada on a weekly basis, Nasr said on Al-Hayah TV channel.