A group of Russian experts has completed its work in Egypt, checking the security not only of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh airports, but also the infrastructure of the Red Sea resorts themselves. TASS was told about it by the association of tourist guides in resort cities.
A delegation of representatives of the Ministry of Transport and security experts in the field of air transport arrived in Cairo on January 27. From January 28 to February 3 they checked the work of air harbors Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh. Georgy Borisenko, Russian Ambassador in Cairo, told Russian reporters earlier that since the airports were suspended last spring due to a new coronavirus pandemic, it was important to make sure everything was functioning smoothly. "If the overall assessment is positive, it will allow thinking about restoring direct charter traffic between the two countries," he said.
According to Hisham Mohi, head of Sharm el-Sheikh tourist guides, experts left the Sinai city as early as Tuesday after completing checks of all security procedures at the airport and other locations. "They inspected some of the hotels as well as the main tourist spots and saw how the security arrangements were in place," he said. - "In the current pandemic environment, they also looked at the precautions being taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus."
Russian-speaking guides, he noted, are now experiencing a serious crisis due to the lack of Russian tour groups. "To tell you the truth, we don't pin our hopes on this expert trip," he said. - "This is not the first visit, security experts have come before, but the ban on flights still remains".
Meanwhile, Bashar Abu Taleb, head of tourist guides in Hurghada, has a different attitude. "This time the visit of the Russian delegation - it has already left Hurghada today - is encouraging," he said. - "The work of Russian specialists focused on the airport, passenger and luggage security control procedures, and the functioning of CCTV cameras".
The current inspection was the first since January 2020. Air traffic between Russia and Egypt was completely interrupted in November 2015 after the crash in Sinai of a plane of the Russian company Kogalymavia flying from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg. There were 217 passengers and seven crew members on board, all of whom died. The FSB qualified the incident as a terrorist attack.
In January 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to resume regular flights to Cairo. The first flight from Moscow took place in April of the same year. Charter flights to Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh are still closed. In recent years, the Egyptian side has improved the system of screening, control and inspection of passengers and luggage, as well as significantly upgraded the infrastructure of airports.
GSV "Russia - Islamic World"
Photo: Creative Commons
Based on materials from TASS