In a push to raise awareness of Egypt’s tourist attractions amongst Russians, the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti published on Friday a collection of photos of the under-construction Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), aiming to attract Russian tourists to visit Egypt, following the decree to resume flights between Cairo and Moscow, which will start in February 2018.
One of the photos depicts the ceremonial bed of King Tutankhamun, which has been moved to the new location from Tahrir Egyptian Museum downtown Cairo in October 2017. In April 2015, a total of 200 artifacts of Pharaoh Tutankhamen’s treasures were transferred to the GEM where they will be on display in a separate hall dedicated to the young pharaoh.
Another photo shows restoration work on two small sphinxes at the GEM. During the past few years, the GEM received thousands of artifacts from several museums and archaeological sites ahead of its inauguration scheduled for 2018.
GEM, situated on 120 acres of land, is located 2 km southwest of the Giza Pyramids and was scheduled to be inaugurated in August 2015, but due to funding issues the inauguration postponed to 2018.
The construction of the three-phase project, which includes the construction of the museum’s main building, landscape parks, the surrounding site infrastructure and the implementation of the master plan, began in March 2012, and two phases have been completed so far.
On January 4, Russian President Vladimir Putin has decreed to resume flights from Moscow to Cairo, Egypt, after 26 months of Russian air suspension, Sputnik news agency reported on Thursday.
Dmitri Khavanski, the director of public relations for Skyscanner in Russia, stated that the Russian people received Putin’s decree positively, pointing out that the company has recorded a growth estimated at 75 percent of ticket searches to Egypt.
Starting from the beginning of February, Russians will be able to fly directly to Cairo, but travelers from Russia interested in holidays on the Red Sea coast of Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh will have to take a connecting flight within Egypt, Khavanski added.
On December 15, 2017, an Egyptian-Russian cooperation protocol on maintaining civil aviation security was signed after a meeting between Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi and Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov in Moscow, Egypt’s Aviation Ministry said in an official statement.
The protocol intends to resume flights between Cairo and Moscow for the first time since 2015, starting in February 2018, the statement added.
The Russian minister manifested that the Russian air flights to Cairo will resume first, before flights to Sharm El-Sheikh or Hurghada. Russian tourists can easily pay visits to Sharm El-Sheikh and other resorts for only LE 6,000 ($335.46) after arriving in Cairo.
On October 31, 2015, Metrojet flight no. 9268 crashed shortly after taking off from Sharm El-Sheikh on a charter flight to St. Petersburg, Russia. There were no survivors among the 224 passengers and crew aboard the Airbus A321. ISIS claimed responsibility for the terrorist act.