A Russian delegation is scheduled to arrive in Egypt at the end of August to review and evaluate the security measures undertaken by the Egyptian authorities in airports, Minister of Civil Aviation Sherif Fathy announced on Friday.
Fathy said in a press statement that the ministry is currently working according to the measures taken by joint committees from both Egypt and Russia, adding that the resumption of direct flights and tourism between the two countries is simply “a matter of time”.
The joint committees hold regular meetings. Two Russian delegations have visited Egypt so far this month to review security measures in hotels and resorts in Red Sea cities, as well as to follow up on the latest results from the investigations into the downing of the Russian plane in October 2015.
The Russian delegation is expected to release a report following its visit, which will include Russia’s decision as to whether to resume direct flights to Red Sea cities and Sharm El-Sheikh.
The ministry’s media office previously told Daily News Egypt that this delegation will probably inspect three airports: Cairo, Hurghada, and Sharm Al-Sheikh. Parliamentary speaker Ali Abdul Aal visited Russia in July and urged Russia to resume direct flights to Red Sea cities.
Tourism to Egypt significantly declined following the 25 January Revolution and the political turmoil in the aftermath. However, the influx of tourists declined even more following the Russian plane crash in late October 2015. In November 2015, Islamic State claimed responsibility for the crash, saying that it was done with an improvised explosive device.
The crash led to death of all 224 passengers and crew on board. In light of the crash, Russia decided to suspend its direct flights to Red Sea cities as the plane crashed shortly after it took off from Sharm El-Sheikh airport. The United Kingdom and Germany followed suit and suspended their flights as well.