Egypt receives 48 international flights to Red Sea cities this month

Tourists relax during a low tide at the beach of the Red Sea resort of Sahl Hasheesh, Hurghada, Egypt January 8, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 15 July 2020

Egypt receives 48 international flights to Red Sea cities this month

  • Egypt had halted flights for almost three months due to the coronavirus outbreak
  • Hopes of reviving tourism were shattered by the coronavirus outbreak

CAIRO: Egypt received at least 48 international flights to two Red Sea cities since the lockdown has been partially lifted at the start of this month.
Egypt had halted flights for almost three months due to the coronavirus outbreak. 
But since their resumption, the past 13 days witnessed tourists arriving to the cities of Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada from countries like Ukraine, Belarus, Switzerland and Hungary. 
Tourists visiting the resort cities tend to enjoy their warm weather, dive into the clear waters of the Red Sea and experience their unique nature.
Hopes of reviving tourism in Egypt were shattered by the coronavirus outbreak earlier this year, though many in the industry expect to witness improvement as life begins to return to normal. 
Before the pandemic, tourism was beginning to flourish following years of political turmoil that have drastically affected the industry.
In 2019, tourism started booming as figures showed that 13.6 million people visited Egypt in that year, the BBC reported.
More than 15 million tourists were expected this year, before the coronavirus outbreak.


Turkey on brink of recession as economy collapses

Updated 13 August 2020

Turkey on brink of recession as economy collapses

  • Consumer debt has increased by 25 percent to more than $100 billion in the past three months

JEDDAH: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s popularity is plunging in lockstep with Turkey’s collapsing economy and the country is on the verge of a potentially devastating recession, financial experts have told Arab News.
The value of the Turkish lira has fallen to 7.30 against the US dollar and the central bank has spent $65 billion to prop up the currency, according to the US investment bank Goldman Sachs.
Consumer debt has increased by 25 percent to more than $100 billion in the past three months as the government moved to help families during the coronavirus pandemic, but the result has been a surge in inflation to 12 percent.
With the falling lira and increased price of imported goods, the living standards of many Turks who earn in lira but have dollar debts have fallen sharply.
The economy is expected to shrink by about 4 percent this year. The official unemployment rate remains at 12.8 percent because layoffs are banned, although many experts say the real figures are far higher.
To complete the perfect storm, tourism revenues and exports have been decimated by the pandemic, and foreign capital has fled amid fears over economic trends and the independence of the central bank.
Wolfango Piccoli, of Teneo Intelligence in London, said logic dictated an increase in interest rates but “this is unlikely to happen.”
Piccoli said central bank officials would strive to avoid an outright rate hike at their monetary policy meeting on Aug. 20. “A mix of controlled devaluation and backdoor policies, such as limiting Turkish lira’s liquidity, remains their preferred approach,” he said.
There is speculation of snap elections, and Erdogan’s view is that higher interest rates cause inflation, despite considerable economic evidence to the contrary.