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Russian Transport Ministry hopes flights btw Russia and Egypt will resume before year-end

April 21, 2016, 20:09 UTC+3 St PETERSBURG
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St PETERSBURG, March 21. /TASS/. Russian Transport Ministry hopes commercial flights between Russia and Egypt will resume before the year-end after there is a hundred percent confidence regarding security at airports, Deputy Minister Nikolai Asaul told reporters on Thursday.

"We're working closely with Egyptian airports to make sure that security meets the international and Russian requirements there," he said. "And if we get a hundred percent confidence the flights to Egypt will resume then."

"We believe this should happen as soon as possible and I hope it will take place this season," Asaul said. "I won't tell you the precise date because work is in progress. This will take place before the year-end but I won't tell you when exactly."

Russia and a number of other countries suspended flights to and from Egypt at the end of 2015 after an A 321 jet of belonging to Metrojet chartered flights operator crashed in the Sinai Peninsula en route from Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg, killing all the 217 passengers and a seven-strong crew. The accident occurred on October 31. Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) qualified the crash as a terrorist act.

On November 6, 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin supported FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov's recommendation to suspend the flights to and from Egypt.

The speaker of Russian State Duma, Sergei Naryshkin said in mid-March Russia was interested in the resumption of flights to and tourist exchanges with Egypt.

As of mid-April, flights to Egypt were resumed by Kazakhstan. Italy, too, has resumed some chartered flights.

On the face of it, the British airlines that were the first ones to call off flights to and from Egypt in the wake of the Russian jet's tragedy have made public their plans to resume the flights sometime from May through September at the earliest.

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