Back to the complete issue
Thursday, 3 June 2021

Just fly, already

Direct Russian flights to Red Sea destinations may resume in the “near future,” once Russian authorities add the “finishing touches” to the plan, which will finally end the six-year flight ban, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said at a press conference yesterday, Tass reports.

We’re hoping that “near future” means “June”, as Putin originally agreed with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi in April.

But at the moment the best we can hope for is a summer return: The minister did give a hint that we could be looking at the plans being delayed during the presser. When asked by reporters whether flights will return in the summer, Bogdanoff replied with “I think so.

The nation’s talking heads might have gotten a bit carried away with this last night, taking this to mean “Flights are returning this summer.” Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 11:16) and Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 9:06) both had the story last night.

But this is far from certain, especially given Putin’s press secretary said on Tuesday that no date has been set for their return.In past years we’ve seen repeated delays in the resumption of direct flights to the Red Sea, initially due to security concerns and more recently because of a resurgence of covid-19 cases.

Egypt is anxious to finally put the 2015 Metrojet crash behind it and welcome Russians back to its shores, not least because of the blow suffered by its tourism sector due to covid. It has been estimated that Russian tourists alone used to bring USD 3.5 bn in revenues.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2021 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of Commercial International Bank (tax ID: 204-891-949), the largest private-sector bank in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; and Act Financial (tax ID: 493-924-612), the leading activist investor in Egypt; and Abu Auf (tax ID: 584-628-846), the leading health foodmaker in Egypt and the region.