Putin lifts ban on charter flights to Egypt six years after crash

43

President Vladimir Putin scrapped Russia’s ban on charter flights to Egypt on Thursday, six years after suspending them for national security seasons in the aftermath of a plane crash.

The flights were stopped after a Metrojet plane taking Russian holidaymakers back from Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg broke up over the Sinai Peninsula in October 2015, killing 224 people.

Russia concluded the plane was destroyed by a bomb. A group affiliated with Islamic State militants claimed responsibility.

Putin’s decree lifting the ban will be a boon for Egypt’s year-round resorts in Sharm al-Sheikh and Hurghada which attracted large numbers of Russians in the past.

Egypt later on Thursday welcomed the decision in a foreign ministry statement saying that it looks forward to the quick return of Russian tourists.



Russia and Egypt agreed to resume all flights in a call in April between Putin and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt’s presidency said at the time.