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Resumption of Russian Flights to Egypt ‘Very Much in Sight’: Russian Official

Resumption of Russian Flights to Egypt ‘Very Much in Sight’: Russian Official

AP Photo/ Vinciane Jacquet
AP Photo/ Vinciane Jacquet

The head of Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency Rosaviatsiya, Aleksandr Neradko, said that his agency is by and large satisfied with the measures taken by Egyptian authorities to enhance security standards at the country’s airports, government-owned Russian news agency TASS reported.

In response to a question regarding when air links with Egypt will be restored, he said, “Egyptian authorities are trying really hard and this is very much in sight.”

According to TASS, he stated that Egyptian authorities have taken “considerable measures” to improve flight security, adding that Egypt has set up an “action plan” for improving security.

However, the Air Transport Agency has also pointed out flaws in Egypt’s security systems, saying that some of the measures Russia requires to recommence flights to Egypt have not yet come into effect.

“At the same time we’ve drafted some remarks which are practically on the way through the Foreign Ministry to our Egyptian counterparts.”

“Our experts visited Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh just recently. We’ve made some comments in addition to the measures being taken at Egypt’s airports. Progress is obvious,” he said.

Last month, a delegation of Russian aviation security experts spent seven days in Egypt to inspect security procedures at Sharm al-Sheikh and Hurghada airports.

That was the second visit from Russia aimed at examining Egyptian security measures at airports since late October last year, when a Russian passenger plane crashed over the Sinai Peninsula after a bomb that had been planted onboard the plane exploded. The Islamic State group later claimed responsibility for the explosion.

The Russian plane crash dealt a major blow to Egypt’s tourism industry, a cornerstone of the economy and a key source of foreign currency.

Russia decided to halt all flights to Egypt following the incident but has vowed to recommence flights as soon as sufficient security measures are implemented.

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