Egypt to operate 4 weekly flights between Germany and Sharm El-Sheikh

Dalia Farouq , Ahram Online , Thursday 22 Dec 2016

Tourists swim in the sea in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, November 7, 2015. (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt will operate four direct flights a week from Germany to the Red Sea resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh as of Friday in an attempt to return the number of foreign tourists to previous levels, the Egyptian tourism ministry announced on Thursday.

According to the ministry, the move coincides with Egypt's winter tourist season, which previously saw large numbers of visitors from Europe.

German airlines were among several foreign carriers that imposed travel bans on flights to Sharm El-Sheikh after a Russian passenger jet crashed over Sinai in October 2015, killing all 224 people on board, most of them holidaymakers.

At the end of October 2016, German travel companies resumed direct flights to Sharm El-Sheikh.

In recent months, a number of European airlines also resumed direct flights to the popular South Sinai tourist destination, including Turkish, Belgian and Polish companies.

The Egyptian affiliate of the Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the crash, saying it had smuggled a bomb on board.

However, Egypt has not concluded its investigations into the cause of the crash.

Since the crash, Egypt has been implementing new, tighter security measures at all its airports.

The number of tourists visiting Egypt increased by 7 percent in October 2016 compared to September 2016, with some 506,200 tourists registered, according to the state's official statistics body CAPMAS.

CAPMAS highlighted that Western Europe sent the highest number of visitors to Egypt in October at 36 percent. Germany contributed 38.8 percent of all Western European tourists to Egypt in that month.

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