Russian Lawmakers Interested in Resumption of Flights to Egypt
nsnbc : Sergei Naryshkin, the Speaker of the Russian Lower House of Parliament (Duma) said that Russian lawmakers are interested in resuming civil aviation flights between Egypt and Russia.
Several of Russia’s State news agencies quoted Naryshkin as saying that Russia is interested in resuming civil aviation flights and to revive tourism to Egypt. Naryshkin reportedly didn’t rule out that the issue would be discussed during his visit to Egypt this week. The Interfax news agency quoted the Speaker of the State Duma as stressing that “this will be possible only in case the safety of our citizens is fully guaranteed”. Naryshkin did not specify what “fully guaranteed” means but it is safe to assume that the Speaker refers to improvements in Egyptian security measures and possibly, Russian inspections of these measures.
Russian airlines and airlines from a number of other countries suspended flight to Egypt after a Russian Airbus 321 crashed after takeoff from the Egyptian Red Sea holiday resort Sharm El-Sheikh.
Investigators concluded that the passenger jet on flight KGL9268 from Sharm El-Sheikh to St. Petersburg, Russia, was brought down by a bomb on board. The crash on October 31 cost the lives of all 224 passengers and crew. A group linked to the self-proclaimed Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bombing. The tragic bombing happened shortly after Russian Air Forces began launching air strikes against targets of the Islamic State, Jabhat Al-Nusrah and other insurgencies in Syria.
The tragedy severely impacted Egyptian airlines, Egypt’s tourism industry and the country’s economy as a whole.
On January 17 The Cairo Post reported that Egypt’s second most important source of national income after the Suez Canal provides direct and indirect employment to up to 12.6 percent of the country’s workforce. The country’s revenues from tourism industry decreased by 15 percent in the 3rd quarter of 2015 compared to the same period last year, said tourism ministry economic advisor Adala Ragab in November. Revenues from tourism represent 11.3 percent of Egypt’s gross domestic product (GDP.) Hotel occupancy in Sharm El-Sheikh plummeted to a record-low 14%.
Egypt has since the bombing of the airliner implemented a cohort of security measures. In mid-January the United States’ Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) certified EgyptAir flights between Cairo and New York City. The Egyptian government has invested some hundred million dollar in improving flight safety as well as safety for tourists in general.
CH/L – nsnbc 25.01.2016