Egypt’s Civil Aviation chief heads to Moscow for talks on restoring regular flights
Egyptian Minister of Civil Aviation Sherif Fathi head a high-ranking delegation of his country’s officials on a visit to Moscow on Wednesday for talks with Russia on the restoration of regular flights between the two countries, suspended last year over security issues, according to the Egyptian ministry. The Egyptian Civil Aviation Ministry also confirmed in its statement that a total of seven Russian aviation experts arrived at the country’s resort city of Hurghada and eight more to another Red Sea resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh with the task to assess security measures provided at the Egyptian airports. Russia suspended air service with Egypt following the crash of a Russian A321 passenger jet in Sinai. The jet owned by Russia’s Kogalymavia air carrier (flight 9268) bound to St. Petersburg crashed on October 31, 2015 some 30 minutes after the takeoff from Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh. It fell down 100 kilometers south of the administrative center of North Sinai Governorate, the city of Al-Arish. The plane was carrying 217 passengers and seven crew members. There were four Ukrainian and one Belarusian nationals among the passengers. None survived. In November 2015, it was announced that the crash had been caused by an act of terror committed by means of a home-made explosive device with a yield of up to one kilogram of TNT. The Russian transport minister said that air service will resume after Egypt fully ensures security at airports. Russia’s key requirements for resuming flights to Egypt are the issues of using an automated biometric control access system and multi-level luggage control at Egyptian airports, and problems of in-flight meals control and video surveillance along airports’ perimeter.