MOSCOW, November 26. /TASS/. Russia and Egypt will return to discussing resumption of charter flights to Egyptian resort towns as the problems related to the coronavirus pandemic are solved, Industry and Trade Minister, head of the Russian part of the Russian-Egyptian intergovernmental commission on trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation Denis Manturov said in an interview with TASS.
"Egyptian colleagues have done a lot to modernize the aviation safety system in the resort towns where Russian charter flights used to fly - Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh. We assume that as the coronavirus-related problems are solved we will return to discussing that issue, particularly considering the issues of aviation safety," he said.
All flights between Russia and Egypt were completely suspended in November 2015 after passenger jet owned by Russia's Kogalymavia air carrier bound from Sharm El Sheikh to St. Petersburg had exploded over the Sinai carrying 217 passengers and seven crew members, killing everyone on board. The Federal Security Service (FSB) qualified the incident as a terrorist attack.
In January 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to resume regular flights to Cairo. The first flight from Moscow took place on April 11, 2018. However, the charter connection with Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh remains suspended. Over the past years, the Egyptian side has beefed up its systems of inspections, controls, and checks of passengers and luggage in addition to modernizing its airport infrastructure.