Turkish Airlines to resume flights to Sharm el-Sheikh

Turkish Airlines to resume flights to Sharm el-Sheikh
2 min read
25 August, 2016
Turkish Airlines will resume flights to Sharm el-Sheikh next month, nearly a year after the downing of a Russian jet, the Turkish Embassy in Cairo said on Wednesday.

Turkey's national carrier is expected to operate four flights to Sarm el-Sheikh a week [Getty]
Turkish Airlines will resume flights to Sharm el-Sheikh next month, nearly a year after the downing of a Russian jet forced airlines to suspend flights to the Egyptian resort city, the Turkish Embassy in Cairo said on Wednesday.

“Turkish Airlines will be the first of the companies that halted flights after October 31, 2015, to resume activities,” the embassy said in a statement, noting it would operate four flights a week.

British operators had suspended flights to the resort in the Sinai Peninsula in November after a Russian airliner was downed shortly after it took off from Sharm el-Sheikh, killing all 224 passengers and crew on board.

But in June, British Airways announced the suspension of its flights to Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh resort "indefinitely" over security fears, in another blow to the country's beleaguered tourism industry.

"The safety and security of our customers will always be our top priorities and we have suspended our flights from Gatwick to Sharm el Sheikh indefinitely," said the British carrier in a statement.

The attack put Egypt's airport security under international scrutiny, prompting the authorities to allocate EGP 175 million ($22.3 million) for a security check plan to be applied in airports nationwide. 

The plan involves renewing and replacing the airport radiation scanners for passengers, cargo, luggage, parcels and even vehicles.

The attack hit Egypt’s tourism industry – the country’s main source of income – with the number of tourists falling 40 percent in the first quarter of 2016.

Tourism revenues slumped 15 percent in 2015 and Egypt's foreign currency reserves are under intense pressure, falling to $17 billion in April from more than $36 billion in 2010.

The country over the past 12-months has seen three aviation incidents, a number of bomb attacks in Cairo, and an airstrike that mistakenly killed a tourist convoy