Russia’s deputy prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich asserted on Saturday that the resumption of Russian flights to Egypt will begin “soon.” He further noted that no definite appointment was set to meet with Egyptian officials regarding this case.
According to the Russian state-owned news agency Russia Today, Dvorkovich added in a press conference held on Saturday that priority will be given for the resumption of flights from Russia to Cairo International airport, followed by the resumption of flights to other airports in Egypt.
“I will not mention the exact date; however, the flights will resume soon. The work dedicated to upgrade the security measures in Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh airports are still not finished,” he explained.
Russian delegations started their inspection after a Russian Metrojet flight crashed in the Sinai Peninsula on 31 October 2015, resulting in the death of all 224 passengers and crew on board.
Russian delegations visited Egypt several times throughout 2016 with the aim of inspecting security measures taken by Egyptian airports.
The inspection tours by the Russian delegations often remarked that flights would resume in the near future; however, no concrete dates have been forthcoming so far.
Nearly five Russian delegations paid visits to Egypt in 2016 for the sake of inspecting security measures followed in airports; the first was in July, followed by two visits in August, and another in September. In December, Russian transportation minister Maxim Sokolov also visited Egypt.
On Friday, Sokolov announced that he plans to meet with the Egyptian Aviation Minister in February to sign a joint agreement regarding maintaining security measures at Cairo International airport.
Sokolov told Russian news agency Sputnik that the Russian side requested a meeting with Egypt in the first days of February to discuss the agreement. A date has yet to be fixed for the meeting.
The minister previously announced that a delegation of Russian security experts in the field of aviation security will visit Cairo next February to inspect the security situation in Cairo International airport, pointing out that this visit may be the last for the Russian delegation before the resumption of flights between the two countries.
Following the aeroplane crash, Russia decided to suspend its direct flights to Cairo and Red Sea cities as the plane crashed after taking off from Sharm El-Sheikh airport. Russian officials have said the aeroplane could have been brought down by terrorists. Islamic State-affiliated group “Sinai Province” claimed responsibility for the downing of the aeroplane.