Egypt's Marsa Alam Airport received on Saturday its first-ever flight by Ukraine International Airlines (UIA), arriving from Kiev, a statement by the Ministry of Civil Aviation said.
The UIA flight, carrying 128 passengers on board, was welcomed on Saturday with a water cannon salute as the first flight by the operator to land in Marsa Alam, the statement said.
A public relations team at the airport completed the arrival procedures and anti-coronavirus measures were implemented to ensure the safety and health of passengers and airport workers, the civil aviation ministry said.
The UIA resumed its flights to Cairo last week following an almost six-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, and this, the statement said, comes in light of joint efforts between the ministries of civil aviation and tourism to stimulate tourism to Egypt.
Egypt announced in July the gradual resumption of international flights at its airports nationwide in line with the resumption of beach tourism in the South Sinai, Red Sea, and Matrouh governorates. International flights had been suspended since 19 March to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
The arrival of two Ukrainian flights – by Azur Air and Sky Up Airlines – marked the end of Egypt's suspension of international commercial flights on 1 July. The flights arrived at Sharm El-Skeikh and Hurghada international airports carrying more than 350 Ukrainian tourists.
On 31 August, the Egyptian civil aviation ministry said travellers entering Egypt at Sharm El-Sheikh, Taba, Hurghada and Marsa Alam airports can take a coronavirus test upon arrival for $30, which would exempt them from submitting negative PCR test results taken before they boarded their flights.
Earlier in August, the Egyptian authorities decided that incoming travellers must submit negative PCR test results at their port of entry due to increasing coronavirus infections in some countries. The tests must have been taken no more than 72 hours before the arrival date.
More than 600 hotels nationwide have been allowed to reopen after adhering to the safety protocols announced by the authorities and at a reduced occupancy of 50 percent.