Egypt: Russia suspends EgyptAir flights till further notice
The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) sent a notification to the Egyptian carrier on Friday about the decision to bar its planes from landing in Russia.
Aviation Minister Hossam Kamal said Cairo is yet to be informed officially but acknowledged that the ban is already being implied while the country’s aviation authority said it was “in contact with its Russian counterpart to try to learn the reasons for such a decision, which has still not been officially announced.”
The ban came two weeks after a Russian flight was downed in the Sinai killing all 224 passengers and crew on board and a week after Russia suspended all flights to Egypt.
The decision means that Russian and Egyptian flights will no longer be shuttling between the two countries and could possibly last for more than three months after a senior official in Kremlin said Russia’s flagship carrier Aeroflot is not planning to schedule flights to the North African country before March 27.
The chairman of EgyptAir, Fathi Sharif, said the company is “surprised” by the“unjustifiable” decision and urged for a “quick reconsideration of the Russian decision, which is damaging the image of our company and the interests of passengers.”
Rosaviatsia declined to comment on the matter but the Russian media claimed the move is meant to ensure that safety requirements are satisfied, while the Russian ambassador to Cairo said it is for “temporary security measures.”