Russia will start discussions with Egyptian authorities before the end of the year about the possibility of restoring flights between the two countries, according to Russia’s Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov.
Moscow has halted all direct flights by Egyptian airlines from Egypt to Russia in the wake of the crashed Russian A321 aircraft in Sinai.
“We can start talking about this [resumption of air traffic with Egypt] now, before the New Year, we will start a joint action plan, but this won’t be easy and will require a very big responsibility,” Sokolov told Russia 24 TV channel.
The Russian minister also said that his country is not considering the possibility of a complete cessation of air traffic with Turkey, following the downing of the Russian military jet.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had banned all Russian airlines from landing in Egyptian airports following the Russian plane crash in Sinai. Egypt also received an official notification from Russia on the suspension of flights to Moscow starting 14 November.
Metrojet Russian A321 plane crashed in Sinai on 31 October, killing all 224 mainly Russians persons on board, with “Islamic State”-affiliated group claiming responsibility for the attack.
The Russian statement comes two days after Egyptian Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou agreed with British ambassador in Egypt John Casson on a joint action plan by the end of November for the return of flights between the UK and Sharm El-Sheikh as soon as possible.