Direct Flights to Resume Between Cairo, Moscow in February

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On Friday, Egypt and Russian Federation signed in Moscow an agreement to resume direct flights between the two countries starting from February 1, 2018. The crash was claimed by a Sinai-based terrorist group affiliated with the regional Islamic State (IS). "They signed a protocol between the governments of Russian Federation and Egypt on cooperation in ensuring civil aviation security", the news release runs.

Egyptian and Russian officials signed a joint cooperation protocol with regards to airport security aiming to resume flights between the countries on February 1 2018 after a two-year hiatus, the Russian Transport Ministry said in a news release according to state-run TASS.

Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in Cairo for the signing of the deal to construct the Dabaa nuclear power plant as well as discuss resuming flights.

Tourism revenues make up 11.5 percent of the total GDP of Egypt, according to the Ministry of Tourism, and it is estimated the suspension cost Egypt's tourism industry US$4 million per day.

Earlier on Friday, Sokolov said that that Cairo International Airport has satisfied all the Russian requirements for aviation security.

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Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi headed to Moscow on Thursday to meet with his Russian counterpart to finalize the agreement.

"Only some 90,000 Russian tourists came to Egypt in 2017, but after the flight resumption decision the number is expected to increase to 2 million in 2018 and greatly raise the occupancy rate of hotels in Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada resorts", said the Egyptian tourism expert.

During Putin's visit, the two countries signed a deal for Russian Federation to begin construction of Egypt's first nuclear power plant.

Following the 2015 downing of the Russian plane, Egypt's already struggling tourism sector was severely hit.