A Russian security delegation left Egypt on Monday after a six-day visit, during which the delegation inspected the security measures undertaken by Egyptian authorities at Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh airports, in order to resume direct flights between the two countries.
In a statement, Egypt’s Ministry of Civil Aviation said that the Russian delegation followed up on the new technical and security developments in the two airports, and praised the Egyptian side on the applied measures.
Sources at the airport, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Daily News Egypt that the delegation checked the measures passengers have to go through from the moment of their arrival at the airports until the aeroplanes take off.
They also said that they checked the activation of biometric devices used to track the workers at the airport. The delegation, which included seven members and took five days to complete the inspection, is expected to draft a report on the security measures in Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh airports.
This visit was among several visits by Russian delegations to check on the security measures at Egypt’s airports, amid continuous promises of resuming direct flights between Egypt and Russia soon.
Earlier this month, the Russian transport ministry announced that a group of experts are currently drafting a report following the conclusion of their inspection to Cairo International airport. Based on this report, direct flights between Cairo and Moscow may resume.
In December 2016, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin told Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi that flights will return soon. It was reported that direct flights may resume at the beginning of 2017; however, the Russian side has not fixed a date yet.
On 31 October 2015, Egyptian Air Traffic Control announced that it lost contact with a Russian plane that took off from Sharm El-Sheikh en route to St Petersburg.
Twenty-three minutes after it took off, the plane crashed in the Sinai Peninsula, with officials saying that all 224 passengers and crew members on board were killed. Although direct flights are suspended, it did not have a significant negative effect on bilateral relations between Egypt and Russia.