Russia has not requested special terminals in order to resume flights: Egypt aviation minister

Ahram Online , Tuesday 23 Aug 2016

Egypt
Egypt's Civil Aviation Minister, Sherif Fathy (REUTERS)

Egypt's Minister of Civil Aviation Sherif Fathy denied on Monday claims that Russia had requested that special terminals be set up in Egyptian airports for its citizens as a condition to resuming its flights to Egypt.

However, Minister Fathy said that Egypt was willing to allocate special terminals for Russian tourists if their numbers reached a certain level.

Fathy added that the two countries agreed that Russian security delegations will be allowed to inspect tourist resorts and hotels as part of the conditions to resume flights.

Russian flights to Egypt were suspended after a Russian airliner crashed in Sinai last year after taking off from Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport. The North Sinai-based affiliate of the Islamic State militant group claimed to be behind to crash.

A number of European countries, including the UK and Germany, suspended flights to Sharm El-Sheikh after the crash over security concerns.

Russian tourists were 20 percent of the nine million tourists that visited Egypt in the first nine months of 2015 before the crash, according to official data. 

Minister Fathy said that the ministry would put in place a special security system upon Russia's request where Egyptian airports employees would go through fingerprint identification at entrances.

"We welcome any security procedure taken by airliners at Egyptian airports as long as it does not violate Egyptian sovereignty," Fathy said.

The minister said that there is ongoing cooperation with Moscow and that he was expecting a visit by a Russian delegation at the end of August, after which Russia will make a decision on whether flights would resume in October.

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