File Photo: Tourists sunbathe and stand in the shallow waters at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt,
Russian charter flights to Egypt’s Red Sea tourist hotspots are set to resume in the coming days, the chief of Russian airliner Aeroflot said on Friday, according to Interfax news agency, ending a near six-year suspension following a Russian airliner deadly crash over Sinai in 2015.
His statements come as a Russian security delegation concluded an inspection visit of Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada airports on the Red Sea under efforts aimed at resuming charter flights to the popular tourist destinations.
The inspection visit came nearly a month after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed to resume direct flights between Russia and Egypt's Red Sea airports.
In October of 2015, Russia suspended direct flights to Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh, as well as other Egyptian airports, following the crash of a Russian flight in Sinai that killed all 224 people on board.
Russia’s flight suspension to Red Sea cities has taken a heavy toll on Egypt’s tourism industry — a key source of hard currency — since Russian visitors were major contributors to the tourism market in the country prior to 2015.
Since 2015, Egyptian authorities have upgraded all safety and security measures at all of the country's airports.
As a result of Egyptian efforts, Russia resumed flights to Cairo International Airport in April 2018, ending a 30-month suspension, but did not resume flights to Egypt's Red Sea destinations.