CAIRO, April 11. /TASS/. Egypt hopes that Moscow will make a prompt decision on resumption of flights to its resorts, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said in an interview with TASS on Sunday ahead of his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov’s visit to Cairo, scheduled for Monday, April 12.
"We are looking forward to having flights from Russia to the Egyptian tourist areas resumed," he said. "We have done our utmost to reach the top security level at Egypt’s airports and in the resorts."
According to the minister, the Egyptian leadership takes every precautionary measure to prevent and mitigate the spread of coronavirus in resort cities, which helps contain the pandemic and go ahead with tourism activity.
"Those efforts have facilitated an influx of millions of visitors from a variety of countries, who enjoy the warm sun here and go back home without any infections or implications of the pandemic," Shoukry said. "That is why we hope a corresponding decision is made (the resumption of flights to resorts - TASS) in the immediate future."
Russia suspended air travel to/from Egypt in November 2015 after a Russian Kogalymavia flight had crashed over Sinai when it was on its route from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg. A bomb went off onboard the plane minutes after takeoff, killing all the 217 passengers and seven crewmembers. The Russian Federal Security Service defined the accident as an act of terror.
In January 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin had signed a decree to resume regular flights to Cairo. The first flight from Moscow took place that April. Nevertheless, charter flights to Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh are still banned. In the past years, Egypt has upgraded the system of screening, control and check-in of passengers and baggage, and also considerably modernized airport infrastructure.