13 airlines to be involved in returning Russian tourists from Egypt

The planes are flying to Egypt empty and come back with passengers on board

Thirteen airlines are involved in Russian travel operators' package tours to Egypt, and these airlines will be engaged in returning tourists currently staying in this country back to Russia, Irina Tyurina, a spokesperson for the Russian Union of Travel Industry (RUTI), told Interfax on Nov. 7.

"Thirteen airlines are involved in travel operators' flight programs to Egypt, they fly from 27 cities, and they will be returning tourists to Russia from Egypt in a planned manner. The planes are flying there empty and come back with passengers on board," Tyurina said.
 Moscow accounts for some 60%-70% of these flights, according to RUTI.

Russian Federal Tourism Agency chief Oleg Safonov had said earlier that nearly 80,000 Russian tourists were staying in Egypt, and their planned return to Russia had already been started. In particular, the travel operator Pegas Touristik had carried about 1,200 people back home, he said.

It was reported earlier that Federal Security Service (FSB) chief Alexander Bortnikov had presented recommendations to President Vladimir Putin at a National Antiterrorist Committee meeting on Friday that flights to and from Egypt be suspended pending the investigation into the Airbus A321's crash in the Sinai Peninsula. Putin agreed with these recommendations. Later in the day, the Transportation Ministry sent a directive to the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) on discontinuing flights to Egypt. The government set up an ad hoc staff led by Dvorkovich to handle issues related to the suspension of flights to Egypt.

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