CAIRO: The Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation has denied reports regarding the resumption of air traffic between Russia and the Egyptian tourist resorts in 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 in Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada,” Minister of Civil Aviation Mohammed Manar said.
He added that there have been no contacts since the Russian inspection and security committee left the Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh airports at the beginning of February.
Manar said that the airlines submitted a request to the Civil Aviation Authority to approve organizing flights to the airports of Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada at the end of last March.
Vice President of the Russian Tour Operators Association Dmitry Gorin revealed that no official information had yet been received from either Russia or Egypt regarding the opening of a flight program from Russian cities to Egyptian resorts in Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh.
“We have not received official information from the Russian or Egyptian side. At the present time, flights to Cairo continue according to an extended schedule,” Gorin told Sputnik.
Egyptian Minister of Tourism Khaled Al-Anani said that the news circulating was “nothing but newspaper talk” and that no decision had been made regarding the return of Russian tourism yet.
Press reports claimed that Russia decided to resume its flights to the Egyptian resorts in Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada after a five-year hiatus.
On Jan. 28, the Russian inspection and security committee arrived at the airports of Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh to inspect their security measures.
The committee carried out an inspection of the security procedures and safety measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in place at various points within the airports.
Russian authorities had reinstated EgyptAir and Aeroflot flights last year between Moscow and Cairo on the condition that Russian passengers did not go to Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh by plane and traveled using land transport instead.
Russian aviation and tourism flights to Egypt were suspended after a Russian passenger plane crashed in the Sinai Peninsula on Oct. 31, 2015, with 224 people
The plane fell near the city of El-Arish, capital of the North Sinai Governorate. Egyptian authorities said that the plane had disappeared from radar screens 23 minutes after taking off from Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport in the neighboring South Sinai Governorate.