Egypt's Sharm El-Sheikh on Thursday received the first direct British flight that departed from Birmingham with 110 passengers on board, the Egyptian government announced.
According to Egypt's cabinet Facebook page, the airplane was welcomed by a water salute. Also, a group from the public relations in the airport presented flowers and gifts to the passengers on the occasion of Christmas and the New Year.
In October 2019, Egypt welcomed the UK’s decision to lift the ban on flights to the Egyptian resort city. Egypt’s Minister of Tourism Rania al-Mashaat said that Egyptian authorities have led consistent efforts in order to place the country back on the tourism map.
Commercial flights to the airport were banned in November 2015, soon after a Russian Metrojet airliner that had departed from Sharm el-Sheikh was brought down.
Metrojet Flight 9268 crashed into the Sinai peninsula shortly after take-off from Sharm el-Sheikh.
Terror group ISIS claimed to be behind the attack, and said it was caused by a bomb hidden inside a drink can.
The government said improved security procedures, and close cooperation between the UK and Egypt on aviation security, meant commercial airlines could now be allowed to operate flights.
Sharm el-Sheikh had previously been one of the most popular holiday destinations with Britons, in particular for the chance of winter sun at the biggest Red Sea resort.
Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Younis al-Masry said in a statement on Thursday that Egyptian airports apply all international security measures and safety standards and are working to improve services for passengers.
Masry added that the ministry is keen to cooperate with other agencies to increase inbound and outbound travel, noting that "the aviation sector is one of the most important sectors contributing to the national economy."
MP Ahmed Idris told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that Egypt took into account all the remarks made by the countries concerning the advanced security equipment and insurance. Relevant authorities also allowed several foreign delegations to inspect the airports’ security.