Commercial passenger flights between Cairo and Moscow may resume in mid-February, Russian transport minister Maxim Sokolov told reporters on Thursday, according Russian news agency Sputnik on Friday.
Sokolov said that the resumption of air traffic between the two cities would require one-and-a-half months after the signing of a protocol in December between the FMs of the two countries to resume flights for the first time since 2015.
Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree approving the resumption of commercial air traffic between Russia and Cairo.
Egypt and Russia have also agreed to hold meetings in April to discuss the resumption of flights from Moscow to Egyptian touristic resort cities, the ministry’s statement added.
Moscow grounded all commercial passenger flights to Egypt in 2015 over security concerns after a Russian A321 airbus crashed in Sinai shortly after taking off from Sharm El-Sheikh. All 224 people on board were killed in the crash.
Egypt has since boosted security procedures at many of its airports in response to Russian conditions to lift the flight ban.
The crash of the Russian flight has dealt a blow to Egypt’s tourism industry, a major source of hard currency, with tourist numbers dropping by some 50 percent in the first half of 2016 year-on-year.
Russians used to make up the largest single tourist group in Egypt, contributing to about a fifth of foreign vacationers in the country as of 2015, according to official data.