Russian experts to inspect security at Egyptian airports this week

Ahram Online , Tuesday 6 Sep 2016

The new date of the delegation visit comes following a meeting between Sisi and Putin on Monday in China

Sharm El-Sheikh airport
File Photo: Security officers check passengers' belongings at the airport of the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, November 6, 2015. (Photo: Reuters)

Russian aviation experts will inspect security procedures at Egyptian airports this week starting Tuesday, the Russian transport ministry press service announced.

"On September 6-10, 2016, a group of Russian experts will carry out a regular round of air security checks in Egypt and will set forth their conclusions in a detailed report," the ministry said in a statement reported by Russian news agency TASS.

The new date of the inspection delegation – postponed from late August – comes following a meeting on Monday between Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit in China.

El-Sisi agreed with his Russian counterpart that a Russian delegation would be sent to Egypt "in the coming days" to inspect airports in anticipation of resumption of commercial flights between the two countries which have been suspended by Moscow since November 2015.

Russia, along with several other countries, suspended passenger flights to Egypt last year over security concerns after the crash of a Russian passenger jet shortly after taking off from Sinai's Sharm El-Sheikh in October 2015.

All 224 onboard were killed in the crash. 

Russia said the crash was due to a bomb planted on the plane. Egypt has yet to issue a final report on the causes of the crash.

While many EU countries such as the UK and Germany suspended flights only to Sharm's international airport, Russia suspended flights to all Egyptian airports. 

The decision has impacted heavily on Egypt's tourism industry, with tourist numbers down 50 percent in the first half of 2016 compared to the same period last year, according to Egypt's Tourism Authority.

Tourism revenue totaled $500 million in the first quarter of 2016, around 66 percent down compared to the same quarter a year earlier, a tourism ministry adviser told Reuters in April.

Germany and Poland have since lifted the restrictions banning direct flights to Sharm El-Sheikh airport.

Turkey has also announced the resumption of direct flights from Istanbul to Sharm El-Sheikh on 10 September.

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