Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Putin Says Russia Will Resume Flights to Cairo

Updated on
  • Ban on flying to Egyptian resorts to remain as checks continue
  • Egypt attracted 3 million Russians a year before plane bombing

President Vladimir Putin said during a visit to Egypt that Russia will restore flights to Cairo, two years after it suspended air links when terrorists blew up a passenger jet.

“Egypt has done a lot to improve airport security” and Russia wants to sign an agreement soon on resuming flights, Putin said Monday after meeting Egyptian counterpart Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in Cairo. While Russia will continue to forbid charter flights to the Red Sea resorts of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh, the decision marks the first easing of the ban since it was imposed after 224 people on board the Russian jet died in the October 2015 explosion over the Sinai Peninsula.

Cairo services may resume in February, Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov told reporters, adding that more work is needed to ensure security for charter flights to the Egyptian resorts.

As many as 3 million Russians visited Egypt annually before air connections were stopped, which deprived the economically struggling Middle East nation of 70 percent of its tourist arrivals.

— With assistance by Ilya Khrennikov, and Henry Meyer

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