Egypt, Russia resume direct flights two years after attack

Aeroflot [Photo Credit: Huffington Post]

Direct flights between Moscow and Cairo resumed on Thursday, more than two years after Russia banned flights to Egypt in response to a terrorist attack.

A plane from Russian carrier Aeroflot flying from Moscow landed early Thursday at Cairo airport with 120 passengers aboard, sources at the airport said.

Hours later, an Egypt Air flight with 109 passengers departed Cairo to Moscow, the sources added.

Egypt was a major Russian tourist destination until Russia stopped flights to the country in November 2015 after a Russian passenger plane crashed in the restive Sinai Peninsula, shortly after taking off from the resort town of Sharm El Sheikh.

All 224 people on board were killed. The extremist Islamic State militia claimed responsibility for downing the airliner.

Aeroflot and EgyptAir were originally scheduled to begin operating flights between Moscow and Cairo in February, but the resumption of flights was postponed several times as Russia required more security measures at Egyptian airports.

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Russian flights to Egyptian resorts remain suspended.

Russia’s ban had crippled Egypt’s ailing tourism industry, a main source of national income.

In recent months, Russian security experts have regularly inspected Egyptian airports to ensure tightened security measures are in place before reopening the route. (dpa/NAN)

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