Russian transport minister to discuss flight resumption with Sisi Tuesday

Ahram Online , Monday 26 Sep 2016

Maksim Sokolov
Russia’s transport minister Maksim Sokolov (Photo Courtesy of Russia's Transport Ministry website)

Russia’s transport minister Maksim Sokolov is expected to arrive in Egypt on Tuesday for talks with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on the resumption of flights between the two countries, according to Russian news agency TASS.

The talks will include“a draft agreement between the governments of Russia and Egypt to ensure the safety of civil aviation,” the Russian transport ministry's press service told Russia's state news agency RIA Novosti on Sunday.

Egypt's civil aviation minister Sherif Fathi held talks in Moscow last week with Russia’s deputy transport minister Nikolay Zakhryapin, where they noted "significant progress" in cooperation in civil aviation security between the two countries.

Moscow grounded all civilian passenger flights to Egypt last year over security concerns after the crash of a Russian jet over Sinai shortly after taking off from Sharm El-Sheikh.

All 224 people on board were killed in the crash, which was claimed by Islamist militants.

The Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) said on Tuesday that up to 500 monthly charter flights could be run by Russian airlines to Egyptian resorts if charter services are resumed, according to Russian state news agency Sputnik.

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 El-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.

Short link: