Egypt and Russia have agreed to resume passenger flights between the two countries in October, senior sources from the Civil Aviation Ministry have revealed.
If confirmed, the news will end months of speculation on when Russia might restart flights carrying tourists following the October 2015 air disaster in Sinai, which caused Russia and Britain to halt flights until security procedures had been improved.
While the October date has not been officially announced, a statement from Russia's Transport Ministry said on Friday that "significant progress" had been made on the resumption of flights.
According to the Egyptian ministry sources, the resumption of flights will be restarted in two phases.
The first phase will involve flights between Moscow and Cairo International Airport's Terminal 2, operating on Wednesdays. The Russian airline Aeroflot has installed its new Cairo office in the terminal for this purpose. The second stage concerns regular flights between Moscow and the beach resorts of Sharm al-Sheikh and Hurghada.
The exact dates for the resumption of the first chartered flights has not yet been announced.
According to the ministry sources, Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov, has drafted a report on the outcome of security inspections conducted by Russian delegations that visited Egyptian airports in recent months. The report was submitted to the Russian government.
In related news, a Russian security delegation concluded a visit to Hurghada International Airport on Sunday. They met with several officials from the Red Sea governorate, including security chief Major General Mohamed Tawfiq al-Hamzawy.
The delegation inspected security measures at the arrivals and departures halls as well as measures that secure passengers, cargo and aircraft. They also inspected devices recently installed at the airport to examine luggage.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm