Egypt reopens airports after three months of closure due to corona virus

Egypt reopens airports after three months of closure due to corona virus

Egypt on Wednesday reopened its airports for international flights for the first time in more than three months since suspension over the corona virus. Two flights carrying more than 350 Ukrainian tourists arrived in the Red Sea resort cities of Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh, the aviation ministry said.Hurghada International Airport received a 172-passenger Azur Air Ukraine flight from Kiev in the early morning, while Sharm El-Sheikh received a 182-passenger SkyUp Airlines flight from the same destination, the ministry added in a statement.

The arrival of the two Ukrainian flights marks the end of the suspension of regular international flights in place since 19 March to stem the spread of the corona virus. Over that period, Egypt's air traffic had been limited to domestic and repatriation flights.Airport staff received tourists with flowers, balloons and chocolates.Separately, national carrier Egypt Air said it was due to operate 14 international flights carrying around 2,000 passengers from Cairo International Airport on Wednesday, with the first flight taking off at 8:30am local time, bound for Tunisia.T

the company said previously it would resume flights to 29 destinations from the first week of July and would add more in the following weeks. These include flights to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, North America and China.Civil Aviation Minister Mohamed Manar inspected precautionary measures at Cairo International Airport earlier on Wednesday, including medical checkup points and sanitation procedures aimed to protect the travelers and workers against the corona virus.

Foreign tourists are now allowed to visit three coastal tourist hotspots: South Sinai, where the popular seaside resort of Sharm El-Sheikh is located, the Red Sea governorate, home to the city of Hurghada, and Marsa Matrouh on the Mediterranean.

The national carrier is also offering a 20 percent discount on flights to several European destinations, and on tickets to New York and Washington bought by July for flights until end-August.Egypt has allowed around 400 hotels nationwide to reopen at a reduced occupancy rate of 50 percent after they met hygiene and safety protocols, according to the tourism ministry.​​