Egypt, Russia resume flights halted after 2015 attack

CAIRO- Egypt and Russia resumed direct flights on Thursday, more than two-and-a-half years after they were suspended in the wake of a bombing that brought down a Russian passenger plane over the Sinai Peninsula.

EgyptAir said in a statement that its Moscow-bound flight took off from Cairo on Thursday and the flight will operate three times a week.

Earlier, an Aeroflot flight from Moscow carrying 124 passengers arrived in Cairo.

The decision to do so only comes after a long period of negotiations, with multiple Egyptian airport inspections and the signing  of security agreements to bring Russian tourists back to Egypt to revive the country’s reeling industry.

Moscow suspended flights after a 2015 attack that killed all 224 people on board. The attack was claimed by the extremist Islamic State group.

Russian officials said that the bomb was a homemade explosive and detonated on board the plane, which had taken off from the main Sinai resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh.

The decision to halt all flights from Russia to Moscow dealt a huge blow for Egypt’s tourism industry a severe blow since the country relied heavily on the influx of Russian tourists.

Egypt’s tourism industry has already been weakened for years of since the unrest after the Arab uprising in 2011.

Aeroflot released a statement, added that both airlines would offer daily flights from June 12 to July 2 to cope with heavy demand, they wrote, “Even though air service between Russia and Egypt has been interrupted for such a long time, the load factor on upcoming flights is more than 85%. ”

Photo Credit- Daily Star

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