Germany resumes direct flights to Sharm El-Sheikh

The German Ministry of Transport issued a decision to lift the ban imposed since November 2015 on the transportation of check-in luggage with passengers on board German flights heading to Sharm el-Sheikh.
The German Civil Aviation Authority officially notified German airlines to lift the ban and resume their flights to Sharm el-Sheikh Airport.
The positive decision came as a result of efforts made over the past six months by the Egyptian Embassy in Berlin to reverse Germany's policy. The embassy's campaign was carried out in coordination with the concerned sectors at the Foreign Ministry, the Egyptian Ministries of Tourism, Civil Aviation and the Interior, and the German Ministries of Transportation, Foreign Affairs and Interior, said a statement by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.
The German authorities imposed restrictions on the transfer of check-in luggage on German flights heading to Sharm el-Sheikh, and later suspended all direct flights from German airports to Sharm el-Sheikh.
The decision reflects Egypt's renewed commitment to meeting international airport security standards, said the Egyptian Ambassador to Berlin, Badr Abdel Aaty.
Aaty added that the decision was made after German authorities received a positive report from the German security delegation which inspected Sharm el-Sheikh Airport in March 2016.
About 170,000 German tourists visited Egypt between January and March 2016, especially Hurghada and Marsa Alam.  
German was among several countries that placed restrictions on air travel to Egypt after the downing of a Russian passenger plane in October, killing all 224 people on board.
While Egypt initially denied claims that the incident was a terrorist attack, Russian investigators said there was evidence that a bomb had been placed on board.
After the incident of October 31, the "Sinai Province" terrorist group, which is affiliated to the "Islamic State" group, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Egypt is still negotiating with Russia for the resumption of their passenger flights to Egypt. However, the hijacking of an EgyptAir flight in late March has set back plans, according to Russian officials.
Sharm el-Sheikh's tourism industry has been hard hit by fears of further air-transport related attacks and the resulting restrictions on air travel.
In late January, governor of South Sinai Khaled Fouda said that the resort's tourism industry had lost LE6 billion over the three months since the Russian air disaster, with most of those losses due to the plane's downing.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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