A file photo of an easyJet aircraft (Photo: easyJet website)
Britain's budget airline EasyJet will resume charter flights to the Egyptian resort cities of Sharm El-Shiekh and Hurghada on the Red Sea in September, Egypt's civil aviation ministry said on Monday.
Egypt reopened its main seaside resorts to international flights and foreign tourists on 1 July.
Foreign tourists are now allowed to fly into three areas: South Sinai, where the popular seaside resort of Sharm El-Sheikh is located, the Red Sea governorate, home to the city of Hurghada, and Marsa Matrouh on the Mediterranean.
The British company "has been approved to operate charter flights to Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada international airports," said Asharf Noweir, head of the Civil Aviation Authority.
Noweir said this "important" step is a sign that air traffic with European countries is returning to normality after over three months of suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Two weekly flights will be operated from Manchester to Sharm El-Sheikh airport on Sundays and Tuesdays and one weekly flight will be operated from Gatwick to Sharm El-Sheikh starting September.
Hurghada airport will receive four weekly trips on Saturdays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays as of 2 September, while two weekly trips will be operated from Manchester every Saturday and Wednesday.
Before the pandemic, EasyJet was planned to resume flights to Sharm El-Sheikh in June for the first time in over four years following the lifting by the UK government of a ban on direct flights to the popular winter sun destination late last year. The suspension was imposed due to a Russian plane crash in 2015.
Some 415,000 Britons visited Egypt in 2018, according to British government estimates, making the UK one of the leading sources of tourists for the country.
Around 50,000 tourists visited Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada since the country announced the resumption of regular international flights last month, Egypt's tourism minister Khaled El-Anany said last week.