A delegation of Russian experts is expected to visit Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada airports on 28 August to assess the security measures undertaken by the Egyptian authorities in the airports, according to Russian news agency TASS.
The Russian delegation is expected to release its final report that will include the decision as to whether direct flights from Russia to Sharm El-Sheikh airport will be resumed.
Media officer at the Ministry of Civil Aviation told Daily News Egypt that the delegation’s visit date is yet to be fixed, and they will probably only inspect three airports: Cairo, Hurghada, and Sharm El-Sheikh.
Parliamentary speaker Ali Abdul Aal visited Russia in July after the chairperson of the Russian Duma invited him, a visit during which he urged for the resumption of direct flights to the Red Sea cities.
Abdul Aal said that Egyptian airports have implemented about 85% of Russia’s demands on the flight safety recommendations.
Egypt’s tourism had significantly declined following the 25 January Revolution; however, tourism suffered even more when a Russian plane crashed shortly after taking off from Sharm El-Sheikh airport in October 2015; all 224 passengers and crew on board were killed. In November, the Islamic State-affiliated group, Sinai Province, claimed responsibility for the plane crash, which was executed with an improvised explosive device (IED).
As a result of the crash, the UK and Germany suspended their direct flights to Sharm El-Sheikh as well. In June, Russian ministry of transport said that Egypt has not updated them with any aviation security measures.
Furthermore, Egyptian Minister of Civil Aviation Sherif Fathy visited Moscow in July and invited Russian experts to inspect Egyptian airports to resume the direct flights as soon as possible.