Russia anticipates Egypt flights resuming for summer vacation season

Russia anticipates that air traffic with Egypt will be restored in the next few months for Russia's summer vacation season, a senior diplomat said Friday.

Russia suspended commercial air traffic with Egypt in November after a Russian airliner travelling from the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh exploded shortly after takeoff, killing all 224 people aboard.

"Work is in progress. Let's hope flights will resume by the summer," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told state news agency TASS.

"Security specialists are cooperating closely. Now we have reached the final stage of the talks," Bogdanov said.

Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the countries "agreed to restore air links as soon as possible, provided the highest security standards are guaranteed for Russian citizens."

An Egyptian affiliate of the terrorist group Islamic State claimed responsibility for downing the aircraft last year, with a bomb placed on board as revenge for Russian military strikes against the group in Syria.

The airliner had been travelling to Russia's second largest city, St Petersburg, and most of the passengers were Russian.

The Kremlin said at the time that it expected the flight ban to last several months.

Egypt's tourism minister said the country stood to lose about 280 million dollars in revenue every month as a result. Tourism is a main source of income for Egypt.

Last update: Fri, 25/03/2016 - 16:42

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