MOSCOW, March 30. /TASS/. Air service between Russia and Egypt will resume when Russian concerns over flight safety are resolved, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko told reporters on Wednesday.
"No airline, no airport can completely be protected from inadequate people, people with mental issues. This happens everywhere from time to time," Matviyenko said commenting on Tuesday’s hijacking of EgyptAir plane en route from Alexandria to Cairo.
Talking about resuming air service between Russia and Egypt that was suspended after Russian passenger plane crashed over Sinai last year, the lawmaker said Russia will continue holding talks on this matter until it is completely confident that flight safety has been ensured. "These talks will not end until we are confident by 100% that all measures necessary for ensuring security at Egypt’s airports have been taken," Matviyenko said.
She noted that Russia "sympathizes" with Egypt as the country’s tourism industry suffers considerable losses due to refusal of most Russians from vacationing there. "I hope that talks will end successfully and air service will resume when Russian side’s concerns are resolved," Matviyenko added. "Egyptian authorities are energetically taking measures to convince not only Russia but also the whole world that it will be safe to fly from Egypt’s airports," she concluded.
Russia suspended air service with Egypt after a Russian passenger plane crashed over Sinai last October. The A321 plane belonging to Russia’s air company Kogalymavia was en route from Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt to St. Petersburg in Russia (flight KGL 9268) when it crashed over the Sinai Peninsula early on October 31 last year.
The plane fell near El Hasna populated locality 100km to the south of Al-Arish, the administrative center of the North Sinai Governorate (province). All the 224 people onboard, including 217 passengers and the seven-member crew, died. The passengers, most of whom were Russians, also included four Ukrainians and one citizen of Belarus.
Russian Federal Security Service said the plane crashed as a result of a terrorist attack.