Over four years the first airplane with Russian tourists arrived in Egyptian Hurghada
Pegas Touristik tour operator made a trick to circumvent the ban, launching a flight from Moscow with a stopover in Antalya.
The flight Moscow - Antalya - Hurghada has transported 200 Russian tourists to the Egyptian resort last week. The route was organized by Pegas Touristik tour operator.
In Antalya the air board made a refueling. In addition, it was left by those Russians who flew precisely to Turkey. The ban on direct flights from Russia to Egyptian resorts has been in effect since 2015.
“Previously, Pegas Touristik transported Russian tourists to Egyptian resorts across Israel and Jordan by land or using connecting flights of local airlines,” recalls Irina Tyurina, the press secretary of the Russian Union of Travel Industry. Now logistics has changed, but it is unlikely to cause discontent of the Russian authorities.
“The presidential decree bans direct flights from Russia to the airports of the Egyptian resorts - Hurghada and so on. Pegas canceled the program on delivering tourists through Israel and Jordan borders due to technical reasons, because there was a very long history on the border. Israel checks everything very carefully, the tourists had to wait for a very long time. So, the tour operator launched an option through Antalya. This flight is actually from Antalya. Some tourists go to Antalya and others fly farther to the territory of Egypt with this connecting flight. I think formally there are no violations of decree." added Irina Tyurina.
According to the portal Turprom, at Hurghada airport Russian tourists were greeted with flowers and music. And Pegas director in Hurghada Mustafa Refaei said that in February the company plans to carry out seven more such flights.
"Pegas Touristik does not organize the flight with Russian citizens from the territory of the Russian Federation by Russian airlines to the territory of the Arab Republic of Egypt," comments Anna Podgornaya, the CEO of Pegas Touristik.
On the Pegas website a tour to Hurghada for a week for two persons in a four-star hotel costs now from 75 thousand Rubles (1002 Euros), in a five-star hotel - almost 100 thousand Rubles (1,335 Euros). In some cases, the air carrier is Turkish airline Onur Air, which transports tourists from Moscow to Hurghada through Istanbul and Prague.
“All costs for landing and refueling of the air boards in Antalya are paid by tourists. Do not forget about dollar, which has seriously increased in price. Cheap Egypt will not return,” notes Alexei Peskov, the editor-in-chief of Turizm.ru portal.
The regular air traffic to Cairo was resumed last year. From Cairo the tourists are transported also to Sharm al-Sheikh and Hurghada. The journey takes six - eight hours by bus or an hour by airplane.
Yury Mishchenko, graduated from Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages, has more than 15 years experience in tourism and travel. Working both in tour operator company as destination manager, and in travel agency as sales manager, he is focused on analysis of Russian tour operators’ daily routine. Recently, Yury works in Baginet Marketing and Sales Agency.