Egypt, Russia resume flights halted after 2015 plane bombing

Airport security check an Egypt Air plane after it arrived from Cairo to Luxor International Airport Egypt

Airport security check an Egypt Air plane after it arrived from Cairo to Luxor International Airport Egypt

Last December, Egypt's Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi and Russian Transportation Minister Maksim Sokolov signed an aviation security agreement in a step towards resuming flights between the two countries.

Russia had suspended flights to Egypt after a home-made bomb exploded in a Russian plane over the Sinai peninsula in 2015.

The first two and a half years Aeroflot flight from Sheremetyevo flew to Cairo on 11 April and landed safely in the Egyptian capital, reports the Chronicle.info with link to the Correspondent.

EgyptAir said in a statement its Moscow-bound flight took off from Cairo on Thursday and that it will operate three such flights a week.

In February of the following year, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi admitted that the plane was brought down by terrorists seeking to damage the country's tourism industry and relations with Russian Federation.

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"Tourism has been greatly affected since the suspension, for Russian tourists represented about 30 percent of the tourists that visited Egypt every year", Abdel-Azim told Xinhua.

Britain, another major source country of tourists to Egypt, also suspended its direct flights to Sharm el-Sheikh after the Russian plane attack.

Egypt has sought to improve airport security since the 2015 attack, spending millions of dollars and bringing in foreign experts for inspections.

Six of these are controlled by Israel, while the seventh - at Rafah - is controlled by Egypt, which keeps it tightly sealed for the most part since the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi in a 2013 military coup.

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