Russian flights to Egypt resume in hopes of reviving Egyptian tourism and economy
According to the Italian website Web it Mag, Russian flights to Egypt will resume on 23 February.
Russian flights will be flying to three Egyptian airports: Cairo, Sharm El-Sheikh, and Hurghada.
The Egyptian airport authorities have received ocular biometric scanners from Russia that will be installed in Terminal 2, which should operate international flights to Russia, for heavier airport security.
Following the Russian plane crash over the Sinai peninsula, which killed all 224 people on board, in October 2015, the Egyptian tourist number declined by 51.2 percent in the first half of 2016, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
As a result of the incident A few European countries, including the UK, have suspended their flights to and from the resort due to intelligence concerns, devastating Egyptian tourism.
The Ministry of Tourism released data saying that Egypt’s monthly losses following the deadly incident are worth $173m.
However, the third Russian consulate in Egypt opened in Hurghada on 22 January, joining the two others in Cairo and Alexandria, to offer consular services to the 20,000 Russian residents and the coming visitors.
Hossam Akawy, a tourism expert and a member of the Tourism Investors Association in the Red Sea, said in a press release that the opening of the consulate is a positive step towards the recovery of the tourism industry.
Russian tourists made up 67.9 percent of Egypt’s tourists in 2015.
According to CAPMAS, the top three countries that kept Egypt’s tourism strong in 2014 are Russia, UK, and Germany.
Tourism may be approaching a revival, as four other European countries, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, have joined Russia and lifted the travel ban on the Sinai Peninsula after more than a year suspending flights since the downing of the Russian plane.
Mohamed Al-Hassanein, member of the tourism companies’ chamber in the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, said in a press release on Thursday that the tourism market will start to feel the positive effects of these flights’ resumption by the beginning of October.
Thomas Cook, the British travel group, also said on Thursday that the demand for vacation in Egypt is back on the rise, after the unrest in the region pushed visitors into finding alternative, rival sunny locations.
Tourism is one of the most important sectors in the Egyptian economy. Not only is it a vital source of foreign currency to the Egyptian economy, but it also is a provider for a lot of employment for Egyptians.
The Minister of Tourism, Yehia Rashed, previously said in a press release that 2017 will be a year for massive recovery in the Egyptian tourism sector once foreign airlines from Egypt’s top markets—Russia, UK, and Germany—resume their flights to Egypt.
Egypt had been struggling to recover from economic issues and a shortage of foreign currency ever since the uprising in 2011.
With the return of Russian tourists, Egypt may regain its tourism and fix its economic issues with the foreign currency income.