MOSCOW, July 8 (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin scrapped Russia’s ban on charter flights to Egypt on Thursday, six years after suspending them for national security seasons in the aftermath of a plane crash.
The flights were stopped after a Metrojet plane taking Russian holidaymakers back from Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg broke up over the Sinai Peninsula in October 2015, killing 224 people.
Russia concluded the plane was destroyed by a bomb. A group affiliated with Islamic State militants claimed responsibility.
Putin’s decree lifting the ban will be a boon for Egypt’s year-round resorts in Sharm al-Sheikh and Hurghada which attracted large numbers of Russians in the past.
Egypt later on Thursday welcomed the decision in a foreign ministry statement saying that it looks forward to the quick return of Russian tourists.
Russia and Egypt agreed to resume all flights in a call in April between Putin and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt’s presidency said at the time.
Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh and Nadine Awadalla in Cairo, Writing by Tom Balmforth Editing by Peter Graff, Andrew Heavens and Jonathan Oatis