Egypt Independent

Resumption of flights to Egypt this January: Russia



Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said Tuesday that flights between Russia and Egypt will resume most likely in January.

According to  Russia Today news website, Sokolov announced that there is a high probability that permanent air transport line with Cairo opens in January, pointing out that his country's leadership is to take a decision in this regard.

The Egyptian Aviation Ministry said in a statement on Monday that it has spent about US$43 million in urgent security needs to secure Egyptian airports during this year.

Egypt has been battling over the course of 2016 to recover the badly affected tourism sector, after the crash of the Russian passenger jet over the Sinai Peninsula in 2015.

Different countries have demanded certain security measures in Egyptian airports to resume flights since the downing of the Russian plane in October of last year, which killed all 224 persons on board, most of them Russian tourists.

The Egyptian government invited security experts from several nations to inspect the security arrangements, while making a deal with British security firm Control Risks for an overhaul of airport security operations.

On Tuesday, a senior Russian delegation is expected to arrive in Cairo to meet officials of Terminal 2 Building, at Cairo International Airport, to carry out inspections of safety standards.

The Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a telephone call with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Wednesday that Russia will resume regular flights between Cairo and Moscow soon. Russia halted all flights with Egypt after the fall of the Russian plane.

Since the crash of the plane, Egypt has received several Russian experts who inspected the security methods at Egyptian airports.

Russia has laid down some conditions for Egypt-bound flights to run again.

Among the Russian requests are a Biometric automatic control systems in an isolated area dedicated to the arrival and departure of Russian tourists, as well as the monitoring of luggage and restaurants, and the testing of flights and surveillance systems within the airport perimeter.