The Russian authorities are creating formal prerequisites for the resumption of flights with Egypt after July 1, which was interrupted after the terrorist attack in 2015. Thus, First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov ordered to prepare by this date a corresponding draft decree of the President of the Russian Federation, as well as to form an approximate flight schedule to Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh. However, this does not mean that a decision has been made to open air traffic. While carriers say they are ready to start flying as soon as possible, some are not expecting Egypt to open this season.
First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov ordered to prepare a draft presidential decree on the resumption of flights with Egypt by July 1. This follows from his instruction posted on the Nezygar Telegram channel on June 8. The interlocutor of Kommersant in the White House confirmed the existence of the order, noting that it does not automatically mean the opening of flights to Egyptian resorts. As a reminder, flights to Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh were stopped after the Kogalymavia plane crash in 2015 as a result of a terrorist attack.
In the same letter, the Federal Air Transport Agency and the Ministry of Transport were instructed to work out the issue “on the formation of a flight schedule between Russian airports and the airports of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh” – also until July 1.
The Ministry of Transport and the Federal Air Transport Agency could not promptly comment on or confirm the authenticity of the document. However, according to one of the interlocutors, the regulators do not yet have information on the opening date of flights. At the same time, on June 8, Vestnik ATOR, citing its own sources, reported that the authorities could announce the date of restarting direct flights to Egyptian resorts on June 15.
At the same time, on June 2, the Federal Air Transport Agency massively refused Russian airlines to issue permits for regular flights to Egyptian Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh. In particular, S7 Airlines, Rossiya, Ural Airlines, Yakutia, Royal Flight, Smartavia, Red Wings, and Nordstar could not obtain permits.
Several airlines are going to reapply during the week. As the interlocutor of Kommersant noted in one of them, most carriers are seeking admissions precisely for regular flights in case Egypt is partially opened or will soon be closed due to antiquated requirements. “Before the pandemic, most airlines operated in partnership with tour operators. Regularity is needed solely as a safety net in order to leave the opportunity to quickly obtain permits for passenger-and-freight flights in the event of new restrictions, ”he says. According to an interlocutor in another airline, there will be no flurry of repeated applications for regular flights in the event of the official opening of flights. “As a rule, charters with Egypt were coordinated quickly, often before the end of the season. But we still regard the launch of the message this summer as unlikely, ”he said.