Libya s Mitiga International Airport receives on Tuesday the first EgyptAir flight in 8 years with a water salute.
The plane received a water salute after arriving at Mitiga airport coming from the Red Sea resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh.
The flag carrier plans to operate weekly flights through 11 October between the two cities to promote Libyan tourism in Egypt, according to Chairman of EgyptAir Amr Abul-Enein earlier this week.
The flag carrier will operate the weekly flights using Boeing B737-800 aircraft, which are capable of carrying up to 154 passengers, added Abul-Enein.
Libya is one of the top tourism exporters to Egypt especially among Arab countries. In 2019, the number of tourists arriving in Egypt from Libya totaled around 760,000, according to Euromonitor International data.
In September last year, Egypt and Libya resumed flights from Tripoli to Cairo after a seven year hiatus over turmoil in Libya. The two countries also reactivated the direct flight service between Cairo and Benghazi in April this year.
Egypt, which counts on tourism revenues as a vital source of foreign currency, has announced plans to explore alternative tourism markets in light of the Russia-Ukraine war ongoing since February.
The Ukraine-Russia conflict has dealt Egypt’s tourism sector a heavy blow with both Russian and Ukrainian markets being among the largest markets for tourism to Red Sea areas in Egypt.
The tourism sector in Egypt was also affected by the coronavirus impacts with the number of tourists reportedly dropping to 3.7 million in 2020 from 13 million in 2019 before rising to 8.2 million in the first 9 month of the FY 2021/22, according to Central Bank of Egypt data.