Flights between Russia and three Egyptian cities are expected to resume in late February, after all security requirements are fulfilled following several visits of Russian delegations, Russian Izvestia newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing sources.
Anonymous sources from Russian foreign policy circles told the aforementioned newspaper that the designated date for the flights’ resumption is 23 February, asserting that the resumption would only take place if the Egyptian side complied with all security requirements.
The sources added that the resumption would concern charter and regular flights between Russia and three Egyptian cities, namely Cairo, Hurghada, and Sharm El-Sheikh.
However, the newspaper said that the Russian transportation ministry did not confirm the information related to the exact date. The ministry noted that the Russian government is the only entity authorised to take the decision.
On Saturday, Russia’s deputy prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich asserted that the resumption of Russian flights to Egypt will begin “soon.” He further noted that no definite appointment was set to meet with Egyptian officials regarding the case.
According to the Russian state-owned news agency Russia Today, Dvorkovich added in a press conference that priority will be given to the resumption of flights from Russia to Cairo International airport, followed by the resumption of flights to other airports in Egypt.
“I will not mention the exact date; however, the flights will resume soon. The work dedicated to upgrade the security measures in Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh airports are still not completed,” he explained.
Russian delegations started their inspection after a Russian Metrojet flight crashed in the Sinai Peninsula on 31 October 2015, resulting in the death of all 224 passengers and crew on board.
Nearly five Russian delegations paid visits to Egypt in 2016 for the sake of inspecting security measures followed in airports; the first was in July, followed by two visits in August, and another in September. In December, Russian transportation minister Maxim Sokolov also visited Egypt.
The inspection tours by the Russian delegations often remarked that flights would resume in the near future; however, no concrete dates have been forthcoming so far.