CAIRO (AP) — Russia resumed flights to Egyptian Red Sea resorts on Monday, ending a ban that had lasted nearly 6 decades pursuing the bombing of a Russian airliner that killed all 224 folks onboard.
The neighborhood branch of the Islamic Point out team reported it downed the aircraft in excess of Sinai in Oct 2015, shortly soon after the plane took off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. At the time, Russian officers insisted that stability techniques at Egyptian airports had been insufficient.
Early on Monday morning, EgyptAir flight MS724 took off from Moscow with 300 vacationers. Hours later, the Airbus A300-330 landed in Hurghada, a popular Crimson Sea desired destination, Egypt’s national carrier claimed in a statement.
The Russian aircraft was welcomed by a ceremonial “water salute” on touchdown and Russian holidaymakers, most of them donning facemasks, had been greeted with flowers and balloons on disembarking.
The statement said EgyptAir would function 7 flights from the Russian funds to Hurghada and Sham el-Sheikh, on the suggestion of the Sinai Peninsula. The first EgyptAir flight from Moscow to Sharm el-Sheikh was scheduled for Tuesday, it said.
Egypt’s envoy to Russia, Ihab Nasr, informed a regional Tv station on Sunday that there would be 20 direct flights between Moscow and the two Purple Sea resorts every single week, and that Egyptian and Russian officers had been talking about additional flights.
The Russian state aviation company, Rosaviatsiya, has cleared 8 Russian airlines to function flights to Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh from 43 cities across Russia. Nonetheless, the checklist does not contain St. Petersburg, the location of the doomed Russian airliner downed over Sinai.
For now, Rossiya, a subsidiary of the Russia’s condition-owned flagship carrier Aeroflot, appears to be the only Russian airline with scheduled flights to the two Egyptian Crimson Sea resorts from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. Its flight FV5361 landed in Hurghada early on Monday afternoon with much more than 500 Russian tourists on board. All-around two hours afterwards, Rossiya’s flight FV5633 landed in Sharm el-Sheikh, carrying about 500 travelers.
Other Russian airways cleared to operate flights from Moscow to Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh — this kind of as Aeroflot’s very low-value subsidiary Pobeda and S7 Airlines, Russia’s major privately owned provider — have no flights scheduled for the coming times, according to their internet sites.
The development will come a thirty day period after Russian President Vladimir Putin canceled his get suspending the flights right after the 2015 disaster.
Flights among Moscow and Cairo resumed in April 2018 right after Egyptian officers beefed up safety at Cairo’s global airport, but talks about restoring direct air journey to Pink Sea resorts experienced dragged on. In 2016, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi finally explained the downing of the Russian airliner was a “terrorist attack.”
Russia’s ambassador to Egypt, Georgy Borisenko, explained the determination to resume flights was not an simple a single for Moscow.
“However, we ascertained that in latest years Egypt’s airports and resorts have dramatically amplified stability actions. For that reason, we assume that Russian vacationers, who remember the standard Egyptian hospitality very well and pass up the Crimson Sea really a lot, will have a safe and sound and comfy keep,” Borisenko was quoted by the condition RIA Novosti information agency as saying.
Britain, yet another big supply of site visitors to Egypt which had also suspended flights to Sharm el-Sheikh in the wake of the bombing, lifted its limitations in October 2019.
The 2015 attack was a significant blow to Egypt’s vital tourism marketplace, which was also afflicted by the unrest adhering to its 2011 Arab Spring rebellion. Egyptian authorities have given that spent millions of bucks upgrading safety at the country’s airports, hoping to get Moscow to change its intellect.
The resumption of flights will be important for Egypt’s tourism sector, which was dealt a different blow by the coronavirus pandemic in excess of the previous 12 months. Authorities have stored looser limitations in Crimson Sea towns, hoping to draw in foreign visitors. But they have mandated vaccinations for staff in the tourism sector in Purple Sea resorts, although a vaccination campaign has been gradual somewhere else in Egypt. All international readers, even so, have to display a damaging PCR take a look at and put on facemasks.
Prior to the ban, Russians were being the prime guests to Egypt, numbering about 3 million visitors in 2014.
Related Press author Daria Litvinova in Moscow contributed to this report.