Home English News First Russian tourists leave Egypt after Putin suspends all flights

First Russian tourists leave Egypt after Putin suspends all flights


Cairo (dpa) – The first group of Russian tourists have left Cairo after President Vladimir Putin ordered a halt to all flights to Egypt until investigators determine what caused a Russian passenger jet to crash on October 31.

Russian carrier Aeroflot left Cairo early Saturday and was heading to Moscow with 86 passengers, tourists visiting the Egyptian capital and other parts of the country, officials at Cairo airport said.

“The aircraft had arrived in Cairo from Moscow carrying no passengers. Later, it left with 86 out of 199 booked passengers,” an official said.


Russia crash poses crisis for Egyptian tourismA crowd outside a security checkpoint Friday at the airport in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. 

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the remaining passengers cancelled their flight after the check-in staff told them that they were only allowed carry-on bags as part of tight security measures.

It is not clear yet how many flights are planned on Saturday to repatriate Russians, estimated at about 45,000 in Egypt.

Putin on Friday ordered the suspension of flights to and from Egypt until investigators determine what caused the October 31 crash in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula of Metrojet flight 9268, killing all 224 people on board.

The Airbus A321 was heading from the popular Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh to the Russian city of St Petersburg. Almost everyone aboard was Russian.

British and US officials have suggested that the crash was caused by a bomb. Russian authorities have been hesitant to endorse any theory ahead of official results from the investigation.

An affiliate of the Islamic State terrorist group active in Sinai claimed responsibility for the crash, which is the deadliest civil aviation disaster in Russian history.