Russian tourists to the tune of 3.16 million are expected to visit Egypt following Russia’s decision to lift a ban on direct flights to the country, Russian state-run media outlet Russia Today reported.
An infographic made by Russia Today revealed that 300,000 Russian tourists will arrive in Egypt in the initial period following the lifting of direct flights — set to come into effect in February — noting that Egypt’s tourism revenues will reach 3.5 billion dollars in the first months of 2018.
On Friday, Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov and Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sharif Fathi signed a cooperation agreement on civil aviation security in preparation for the resumption of flights between the two countries.
The signing ceremony was held at the Russian Ministry of Transport in Moscow in the presence of Ehab Nasr, the Egyptian ambassador to Russia, along with diplomats and officials.
Fathi said that flights between Moscow and Cairo would be resumed on February 1 and that the two
countries would further discuss in April the resumption of commercial flights between the two
Sokolov said that Cairo Airport has met all aviation security requirements, while Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada airports need more work, which is the task for next year.
Sokolov pointed out that the Russian airline Aeroflot has expressed its desire to conduct regular flights between Cairo and Moscow.
On the return of low-cost charter flights to Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada, the Russian minister said:
“This will come in the next stage. There is no decision yet.”
Following the downing of a Russian passenger plane in Sinai in October 2015 — which killed all 224 people on board and was claimed as a terrorist attack by an IS-affiliated group — Russia suspended flights to the country.
Tourism revenues make up 11.5 percent of the total GDP of Egypt, according to the Ministry of Tourism, and it is estimated the suspension cost Egypt’s tourism industry US$4 million per day.