MOSCOW, October 23./TASS/. Egyptian Ambassador to Russia Ihab Nasr expects that charter flights between Russia and Egyptian resorts will restart in full before the end of this year.
"The Russian and Egyptian presidents met in Sochi. They announced an agreement to shortly restart in full flights between Russia and Egypt. Within the next few weeks or months - nobody knows. I would like to once again cite the Russian president as saying ‘in the near future’," the ambassador said in reply to questions about the timeframe.
"We are working hard to translate into life the agreements of the two presidents. I hope we will see good results shortly," Ihab Nasr added. He said preparations for reopening the flights were at the finishing stage from the technical point of view. "I hope shortly, maybe even before the end of the year, I hope very much," the ambassador added.
Earlier, President Vladimir Putin told a session of the Valdai Discussion Club that he hoped charter flights to Egyptian resorts would be reopened shortly. He said restarting charter flights to Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada was on the agenda. Putin said he had discussed the issue with Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, confirming that flights to these airports could be launched shortly.
All flights between Russia and Egypt were cancelled in November 2015 after a Russian A321 passenger jet owned by Russia’s Kogalymavia air carrier bound to St. Petersburg crashed on October 31, 2015 some 30 minutes after the takeoff from Egypt’s Sharm El Sheikh.
In 2016-2017, the sides negotiated resumption of aviation service. A new terminal meeting all aviation security requirements was been constructed in Cairo airport. Before flights were resumed, Russian aviation experts examined the airport several times.
In January 2018, Putin signed a decree to resume regular flights between Russia and Egypt. The first flight from Moscow to Cairo took place on April 11.
Charter flights to resort towns, particularly Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada, are still suspended.