The first plane carrying Russian tourists back to St. Petersburg from Egypt landed at St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo airport late Saturday after Russia halted passenger flights to Egypt, a spokeswoman for the Russian Commission of Tourism Development said.
ST. PETERSBURG (Sputnik) — Moscow suspended all passenger flights to and from Egypt amid safety concerns after a Russian airliner crashed in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula a week ago. The plane carrying 224 people was flying from the Red Sea resort of Sharm-el-Sheikh to St.Petersburg. Russia sent three passenger planes to Egypt on Saturday to repatriate stranded citizens.
"The first plane, operated by Royal Flight, has brought back 189 passengers from Hurghada. Two more planes from Hurghada and Sharm-el-Sheikh are expected to arrive later today," the spokeswoman said, adding the three planes would carry a total of 624 people.
The Commission’s deputy chairwoman in St.Petersburg, Nana Gvichia, said earlier that rescue flights from Egypt to St. Petersburg would be operated until the end of November.
Some 12,000 Russian tourists from St. Petersburg are estimated to be staying in Egypt. There are reportedly around 80,000 Russian holidaymakers in the country. Russians make up the vast majority of foreign tourists in Egypt.