Just a week after the crash of the Kogalymavia aircraft in Egypt, on Friday evening Russia suddenly announced the suspension of all air links with Egypt. At an extraordinary meeting of the National Anti-Terrorist Committee, FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov stated that "it is advisable to suspend flights from Russia to Egypt."
"Until we find out the truth about what happened, I think it is appropriate to suspend the flights of Russian aviation to Egypt. This concerns, above all, the tourist channel," he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed with him and instructed to work out the implementation of this decision.
Russian airline companies have started to receive notifications about the suspension of flights to Egypt and cancel flights to this country. Such a fate, in particular, awaited an evening flight of Orenburg Airlines, which was supposed to fly from Vnukovo airport to Sharm el-Sheikh. It is reported that the stamps on crossing the Russian border in the passport were revoked for all passengers, and they were all disembarked from the aircraft.
The Public Assistant of Commissioner for Children's Rights Pavel Astakhov, Anna Levchenko, reported in her Twitter account that at Vnukovo airport about a thousand passengers of cancelled flights were forced to undergo the procedure of cancellation of registration. Lifenews estimated the total number of passengers of cancelled flights in Vnukovo at three thousand people. According to the television channel, the cancellation of flights to Egypt caused a mass stampede at the airport.
Another problem is the issue of the return of Russian tourists from Egyptian resorts. It should be noted that Egypt held a whole specific niche in the sector of tourism services, offering sea and sun for reasonable money. According to Rostourism, there are about 45 thousand Russian citizens in Egypt.
Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich asked Russian citizens to understand the decision to suspend flights to Egypt after the crash of the Airbus A321, because safety and lives are paramount.
Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov stated that Russian specialists have already taken all the necessary samples from the bodies of dead and the skin of the aircraft to search for explosives. The results of this analysis will be announced later.