World News

Russian flights to Egypt will resume soon, Putin tells Sisi

CAIRO (Reuters) - Russian flights to Egypt will resume soon, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in a phone call, Sisi’s office said on Thursday.

Flights to Egypt from Russia were suspended after a Russian plane crashed into the Sinai desert in October 2015. Islamic State said it brought down the plane with a bomb smuggled inside a fizzy drink can.

“President Putin affirmed Russia’s intention to resume regular flights between Moscow and Cairo in the very near future,” the Egyptian presidency said in a statement.

No date was given for flights to resume.

The Airbus A321, operated by Metrojet, had been returning Russian holiday makers from the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh to St Petersburg. The crash killed all 224 on board.

Russia and Western governments said a bomb had brought the plane down and Sisi later said the cause was terrorism. Investigators have yet to confirm this.

Britain suspended flights to Sharm al-Sheikh as a result, and Russia suspended all flights to and from Egypt, devastating Egyptian tourism, a lifeline of an already battered economy.

Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Giles Elgood and Louise Ireland