Egypt, Russia resume flights after suspension over plane bombing in 2015

Airport security check an Egypt Air plane after it arrived from Cairo to Luxor International Airport Egypt

Russia Resumes Direct Passenger Flights to Cairo REUTERS Amr Abdallah Dalsh

The decision dealt Egypt's tourism industry a severe blow since the country relied heavily on the influx of Russian tourists.

Aeroflot, Russia's flagship carrier, landed in Cairo Wednesday with 120 passengers on board, according to officials at Cairo International Airport.

The Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip will be opened by Egypt on Thursday, the Palestinian embassy in Cairo has said.

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"It is surely a promising step and a very good beginning".

"Tourism has been greatly affected since the suspension, for Russian tourists represented about 30 percent of the tourists that visited Egypt every year", Abdel-Azim told Xinhua.

A total of six flights per week are planned to Moscow.

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Moscow suspended flights after the 2015 attack claimed by the Islamic State terror group, in which an A321 plane belonging to Russian charter company Metrojet crashed into the Sinai desert on its way from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg, killing 224 passengers and crew.

Russia will consider this summer where to conduct extra airport security checks in Egypt's Red Sea resorts of Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh, the Russian transport minister said Friday.

While Russia said the plane was brought down by a bomb, Egyptian authorities insisted that an investigation into the incident was still going on.

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Egypt has kept Rafah largely sealed off since 2013, after the coup against Egypt's elected Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

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