Russia to resume flights to Egypt, halted after 2015 bombing

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Russia is to resume flights between Moscow and the Egyptian capital of Cairo in February after more than a two-year hiatus, Russian transportation minister said on Friday.

Egypt’s aviation minister traveled to Russia to sign protocol agreements to allow the resumption of Russian flights that were suspended after the 2015 bombing of a tourist jet, Egyptian sources and Russia's minister said on Thursday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin met Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo this week to discuss resuming flights and to sign a deal for a nuclear power plant as part of growing bilateral cooperation.

Moscow halted civilian air traffic to Egypt in 2015 after militants detonated a bomb on a Russian Metrojet flight leaving the tourist resort of Sharm el-Sheikh and killing 224 people on board.

The bombing and the Russian suspension were blows to Egypt’s tourism industry, a key source of hard currency. The return of Russian flights and tours could be a massive boost to tourist numbers that are still well below the 14.7 million visitors annually Egypt saw in 2010 before the uprising a year later and the unrest that followed.

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