Middle East 19 October 2018
Air traffic between Russia and Egypt will be restored
The President of Russia Vladimir Putin and his Egyptian counterpart Abdul-Fattah Al-Sisi agreed to restore air links between the two countries on a full scale. Experts expect that after launching a charter programs, Egypt will be able to host more than two million Russians a year. The representatives of tourist industry say that it is possible to arrange charters and to start selling tours within a month. “It’s the charters that allow tourists to offer cheap and comfortable tours. The destination is in demand, and tour operators are ready to offer the full range of tourist products. We have reserve airplanes and in addition seven leading tour operators have their own airlines,” told Vice President of ATOR and transport advisor to the head of the Federal Agency for Tourism Dmitry Gorin. The algorithm is as follows: first you need to get permission, then follows the process of negotiating of charter programs, and airlines are provided with permits issued by Rosaviation every month: on the 15th of each month - for the next month. After settling all the formalities, carriers and tour operators will need about a month to organize sales. According to ATOR, some Russian airlines have access to flights to Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada. In the winter season, you can send in Egypt about 600 charter flights per month. This is more than 30% of all charters scheduled for the upcoming winter (about two thousand flights per month). Dmitry Gorin reminds that tour operators have contracts with hotels and host companies. Travel agencies and now send people to Egypt through Cairo, but the flow is small, many are frightened of a long flight. Mostly individual travelers go there - about a hundred thousand people a year. But after the opening of charters, Egypt will be visited annually by at least two million Russian tourists. Alexander Burtin, co-owner and commercial director of TEZ Tour, emphasizes that it is easier to arrange charters in the winter. At this time there are not many destinations that can compete with Egypt. General Director of Pegas Touristik Anna Podgornaya is confident that the charter program can be launched in a month: "This is a popular destination, which is always in demand." Another important aspect is the cost of charter tours. In Minsk, the Russians are offered to travel to Egypt for at least 37 thousand Rubles (489 Euros) per person at a 4* hotel for nine nights with a flight at the end of November. Probably, by prices we should compare the Egyptian resorts with the Turkish ones, where this winter operators send additional charters. The cost of weekly tours to Turkish 4-stars hotel on "all inclusive" basis starts from 35 thousand Rubles (463 Euros), but this is for two persons. "The prices will not differ much from those that were before the termination of the air service, but it is necessary to take into account changes of the exchange rate," said Gorin. According to him, Egypt will be in demand, especially for travelers with a small budget. “An all-inclusive system is developed there. There are many inexpensive hotels, a short flight. This is important, since not all tourists, especially with small children, are ready for flights lasting eight hours or more,” the expert explains. But some time will be needed to restore the tourist flow. The programs of tour operators are formed, many tourists have already booked tours for the New Year. Earlier, the Advisor to the Minister of Tourism of Egypt, Amr El-Ezabi told that "if the charters are allowed, it will take one season, or even half, to recover the Russian tourist flow."