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Russian President Vladimir Putin signs decree approving resumption of air traffic with Cairo

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree, ratifying the resumption of commercial air traffic with Cairo.

Putin has signed off on the changes that have been made to the 2015 decree that put a stop to all commercial passenger flights to Egypt. The amendment would allow flights to Cairo but not to other Egyptian destinations.

The initial suspension was made then after the crash of a Russian flight in Sinai.

The amendment also excludes Cairo from a clause recommending tour operators and travel agents to stop providing air transportation to Egypt for Russian citizens.

A protocol signed last month between Egyptian Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi and Russian Transportation Minister Maxim Sokolov paves the way for flights between Moscow and Cairo to restart next month.

New round of talks are between officials of the two countries are in the works, to examine the resumption of charter flights from Russia to the Red Sea resort destinations of Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh.

Moscow grounded all commercial passenger flights to Egypt in 2015 over security issues. This came after a Russian A321 airbus crashed in Sinai not long after taking off from Sharm El-Sheikh. Tragically, all 224 people on board perished.

Since then, Egypt has bolstered its security protocols at many of its airports in a bid to urge Russia to lift the said ban.

Just last month, Egyptian and Russian officials signed a deal to lift the ban on flights.

The crash was huge blow to Egypt’s tourism sector, with tourist arrivals dropping by an estimated 50% in the first half of 2016 year-on-year.

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