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Return of Russians to Egypt imminent
January 11, 2018, 4:17 pm

Egyptian airports must upgrade their security measures if Russian tourists are to return, Moscow officials have said. But the wait is likely to be over now [Xinhua]

It may be a wait for just another month before Russian tourists start flocking to Egypt again, authorities in Moscow said on Thursday.

“As I said before, it will take about a month and a half after the signing of the decree to resume the flights and to conclude relevant contracts with the airport of Cairo and the handling companies, and to restart the work of the (Russian Airlines) Aeroflot office. Accordingly, it is approximately mid-February,” Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said Thursday.

Russian travel agencies have been prohibited from working with their Egyptian counterparts and tourists have been absent since a Russian airliner carrying 224 crashed into a mountainous area of Egypt’s Sinai peninsula after a bomb exploded killing all on board in October 2015.

Many European travel agencies also stopped chartering flights to popular resorts in Egypt until Cairo implemented a widescale review of its airport security system.

On January 2, Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized the resumption of regular civilian flights from Russia to Cairo, effective immediately.

This came two weeks after his one-day trip to Cairo in which he pledged to sign a protocol with Egypt regarding security at its airports.

Sokolov’s announcement is welcome relief to the Egyptian tourism industry which has been hurt by the travel ban at precisely the time when its coffers were cash-strapped.

Egyptian statistics suggest that at least two million Russians a year will visit Egypt when the travel ban is lifted.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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