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Russian team to assess security measures at Hurghada airport

The multi-day visit comes amid preparation for the resumption of direct flights between Egypt and Russia

Ahram Online , Wednesday 21 Sep 2016
Hurghada airport
File photo of Hurghada airport (Photo: Ahram Arabic news website)

A Russian delegation of transport and aviation experts arrived late Tuesday in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada to inspect recently implemented security measures at the city's airport in preparation for resuming direct flights between Russia and Egypt, according to a statement by the civil aviation ministry.

During its visit, the team of eight Russian experts will assess security measures at the airport's departure and arrival halls as well as flight safety procedures, an airport source told Al-Ahram Arabic news website.

A report of the visit will then be submitted to the Russian government, which will decide whether flights will resume.

Russian media had cited a Russian tourism official as saying that flights from Russia to Egypt may be resumed in the second half of October.

The MENA news agency reported that Egypt's civil aviation minister Sherif Fathi is to fly to Moscow Wednesday along with a high-level security delegation to resume talks over the return of Russian flights.

Moscow suspended all civilian passenger flights to Egypt last year over security concerns after the crash of a Russian jet minutes after taking off from the airport at the Egyptian resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh. All 224 people on board were killed in the crash, which was claimed by Islamist militants.

Cairo says investigations into the crash are still underway and that a delegation of Russian investigators is currently cooperating with Egypt’s general prosecution, which will issue a final report on the cause of the crash.

Britain also halted flights to Sharm Sheikh following the crash, with the suspensions dealing a huge blow to the country's vital tourism industry.

Russian, British and Italian tourists make up more than 50 percent of the total number of tourists that visit Egypt.

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