CAIRO: The Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation has denied reports of the resumption of air traffic between Russia and the Egyptian tourist resorts of Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada.
“The ministry’s agencies have not received any information from Russia regarding the resumption of chartered air traffic to the Egyptian tourist resorts of Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada,” Civil Aviation Minister Mohammed Manar said.
He added that there had been no contact since the Russian inspection and security committee left Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh airports in early February.
Manar said the airlines submitted an application to the Civil Aviation Authority to approve the organization of flights to Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada airports at the end of March.
Russian Tour Operators Association Vice-President Dmitry Gorin revealed that no official information has yet been received from Russia or Egypt regarding the opening of a flight program between Russian cities and the Egyptian stations of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh.
“We have not received any official information from the Russian or Egyptian side. Right now, flights to Cairo are continuing on an extended schedule, ”Gorin told Sputnik.
Egyptian Tourism Minister Khaled Al-Anani said the information circulated was “nothing but newspaper talk” and that no decision had yet been taken on the return of Russian tourism.
News reports claimed that Russia had decided to resume flights to the Egyptian resorts of Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada after a five-year hiatus.
On January 28, the Russian Inspection and Security Committee arrived at Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh airports to inspect their security measures.
The committee carried out an inspection of security procedures and security measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in place at various points at airports.
Russian authorities reinstated EgyptAir and Aeroflot flights last year between Moscow and Cairo on the condition that Russian passengers do not fly to Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh and instead use ground transportation.
Russian air and tourist flights to Egypt were suspended after a Russian airliner crashed in the Sinai Peninsula on October 31, 2015, with 224 people
The plane fell near the city of El-Arish, the capital of the North Sinai Governorate. Egyptian authorities said the plane disappeared from radar screens 23 minutes after taking off from Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport in neighboring South Sinai governorate.
Egyptian-Spanish military exercises were held in the Red Sea in Israel to connect the Leviathan gas field to Egyptian LNG plants, the minister said.