Turkish Airlines will resume flights next month to Sharm al-Sheikh, nearly a year after they were suspended following the bombing of a Russian jet which took off from the Egyptian resort, the Turkish embassy in Cairo said on Aug. 24. “Turkish Airlines will be the first of the companies that halted flights after Oct. 31, 2015 to resume activities,” the embassy said in a statement. It said the airline would operate four flights a week.
British and Russian governments banned their airlines from flying to Sharm al-Sheikh, a popular winter sun destination, because of concerns about security at the airport after the October 2015 bombing which killed all 224 people on board.
Tourism is a key source of income for Egypt but the number of tourists fell 40 percent in the first quarter of 2016.
It is also one of the main sources of foreign currency reserves – which have more than halved since 2011, to reach $15.536 billion in July – in a country that heavily depends on imports.
Egypt’s efforts to revive its tourism industry suffered a fresh blow in May when an EgyptAir plane crashed into the Mediterranean, killing all 66 people on board. The cause of the crash is still unknown.