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Russia’s decision to lift ban on commercial flights to Egypt sends “very positive message” to British government

The UK tourism chief of Egypt has raised hopes that the UK may resume flights to Sharm el Sheikh airport, after expressing that Russia’s call to lift a ban on commercial flights to Egypt sends “a very positive message” to the British government.

Russia slapped a ban on all flights to Egypt in November 2015 after the tragic crash of Russian charter flights Metrojet 9268 that killed all 224 passengers on board.

Not long after, the UK implemented a similar flight ban on Sharm el Sheikh airport.

But Russia has since withdrawn the ban and announced plans to resume flight operations to Cairo. Reports have Hurghada and Sharm set to follow suit in the coming months.

Amr El-Ezabi, UK and Ireland director of the Egyptian State Tourist Authority, mentioned that he hoped the move by Russian president Vladimir Putin would “encourage the UK” to think about lifting its ban on Sharm airport.

“Now that we have the approval of Russia [for Cairo]… there is a stronger possibility of the British government revising its decision [for Sharm],” he remarked.

El-Ezabi added that he found it “beyond frustrating” the flight ban on Sharm airport had remained in place. “Sharm is green [according to FCO travel advice] so the Foreign Office does not have a problem with Sharm itself – just the airport – but things have changed,” he insisted.

El-Ezabi reported that authorities had invested in £20 million worth of measures that would fortify airport security as well as improve infrastructure.

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