Tourists are sent to Egypt // Moratorium on charter flights to the country’s resorts canceled

President Vladimir Putin has lifted a five-year moratorium on charter flights to Egyptian resorts. The resumption of direct flights with them will reduce the cost of tours by 25-30%, but at the first stage, the demand is unlikely to be rush. Summer is traditionally a low season for Egypt due to hot weather.

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared invalid the decree of November 8, 2015, which introduced a ban on charter flights to Egyptian resorts. The corresponding document was published on the portal of legal information.

Air traffic with Egypt was limited at the end of 2015, after a terrorist attack became the main version of the crash of a Kogalymavia aircraft en route from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg. Until 2018, flights were in principle not operated, then regular flights with Cairo were opened.

Now tour operators sell tours to Egypt on the basis of these flights and a ground program for travelers who are separately ordered connecting flights to the airports of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh.

Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, such offers were not in great demand due to the high cost and difficulties with logistics. But during the period of massive restrictions, interest in them woke up: in the spring, Level.Travel analysts noted that tours to Egypt form about 3% of sales, the average check is 162.4 thousand rubles.

Representative of the National Network of Travel Agencies Igor Blinov notes that the resumption of charter programs to resorts will reduce the cost of tours to Egypt by an average of 25-30%. But despite this, the expert doubts that at the moment the direction will be in high demand against the background of the summer heat. “This can be judged on the basis that sales of tours in the UAE have practically stopped,” he explains.

Mr. Blinov is sure that in summer Turkey will remain the main destination of beach holidays for Russians, while Egypt will be interesting in the autumn, in two or three months.

“But the depth of bookings remains low against the background of ever-changing sanitary conditions and restrictions, and people are not ready to book that far ahead,” he says.

Tour operators have already begun to prepare for the launch of the programs. According to Tez Tour estimates, it will take three to four weeks for the market to conclude contracts and work out a decision of the operational headquarters on the volume and conditions for resuming air traffic. Although the representative of the Russian Union of Travel Industry Irina Tyurina is confident that the flights will be launched rather quickly. “There is still a surplus of transportation in the market, and all the leading tour operators still worked with Egypt in one way or another,” she says. Ms Tyurina recalls that tour operators were ready to deliver charter flights to Turkey the next day after the opening of the destination. Now, she said, the pace depends on the number of available slots.

Alexandra Mertsalova

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *