Egypt repatriates 12,000 stranded Egyptians in 70 flights since April

Egypt’s Civil Aviation Ministry since late April has returned 12,000 stranded Egyptians stuck in various Arab, European and African countries on board 70 EgyptAir and Air Cairo flights, according to informed aviation ministry sources.

The charter flights will continue to work until the very last stranded Egyptian returns home, the sources said, adding that this will be done in compliance with the directives of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Civil Aviation Minister Mohamed Manar Enaba.

The return trips have been spread between the Cairo, Marsa Alam and Sphinx airports.

Upon returning, all passengers received medical examinations to ensure they were clear of the coronavirus inside the arrival halls and before exiting the airports towards the isolation areas.

The sources confirmed that the ministry is in full contact with the committee formed by various ministries to return the stranded Egyptians.

The Egyptian Holding Company for Airport and Air Navigation (EHCAAN) has already started implementing precautionary measures inside the travel and arrival halls of Egypt’s airports, the sources added, through setting up spaces between passengers during travel and arrival.

Information boards have also been set up by the EHCAAN instructing travelers on health guidelines, such as hand hygiene and wearing a mask.

Egyptian expatriates wishing to return must sign an avowal stating that upon arrival back to Egypt they will be quarantined in a place determined by the Health Ministry for 14 days, Cabinet Spokesperson Nader Saad said.

Anyone refusing to sign the avowal will be barred from boarding a flight back to Egypt, he stressed.

The Civil Aviation Authority announced the suspension of air traffic, whether incoming or out of airports, since March 19.

Air cargo and charter flights, alongside international ambulance flights or domestic flights, were excluded from the decision to allow the return of tourist groups after the end of their programs.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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