CAIRO: Decisions of Russia and the UK to halt their flights to Egypt have resulted in financial losses estimated at 2.2 billion EGP ($275m), Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou said in a Wednesday press conference.
Zaazou explained that the losses are due to the decline in number of tourists coming from both countries, which are considered the most two countries sending tourists to Egypt.
A number of countries, mostly European, have recently announced suspending flights to Egypt following a Russian plane crash in the Sinai Peninsula; most likely has been downed by militants affiliated with the Islamic State.
A committee of local and foreign experts is investigating the incident, which caused the death of all 224 passengers on board.
As fears grow regarding the effect of the accident on the tourism industry, which represents main source of Egypt’s income, the government and other individual groups have launched campaigns to promote tourism in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
During the press conference, Zaazou said that tourist convoys will be deployed to several Arab countries by mid-December, with “proposed facilitations” to visas for tourists from the Arab Maghreb region, according to Youm7.
This will be a part of a wide promotional campaign aims at countries around the world, especially in East Europe which halted their flights to Cairo.
According to the minister, there will be a security committee including Russian, British and German experts to review procedures and security measures at Egypt’s airports.
In the same context, Zaazou has met with the ambassadors of a number of Asian countries to present the Egyptian measures to secure tourist cities.