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Opinions & Interviews

9 Nov 2015

Kostin: Belavia plans to perform flights to Egypt chartered by travel companies in November

Kostin: Belavia plans to perform flights to Egypt chartered by travel companies in November

MINSK, 9 November (BelTA) - Belavia plans to perform the flights to Egypt chartered by travel companies in November, Vladimir Kostin, Director of Aviation Department at the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Belarus, told reporters.

"Belavia will continue performing flights to Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh chartered by travel companies in November. Flights will continue; security measures have been strengthened on the part of the aviation personnel who fly to destinations in Egypt,” Vladimir Kostin said. He pointed out that additional attention will be given to the airport staff who tend to the aircraft.

According to the department head, the Belarusian aviation authorities are closely monitoring the situation after the crash of the Russian aircraft over the Sinai Peninsula. It is not just about the investigation into the crash but also the aviation security in the Egyptian airports. "I believe that with increased safety measures provided by our crews, all will be fine. Perhaps we will send our specialists to accompany some flights to Egypt to keep an eye on what is happening. If the situation starts changing for the worse, we will all take appropriate measures. So far we have no reason to be concerned; the situation is under control,” said Vladimir Kostin.

As was reported, representatives of the Belavia security service and management held working meetings with the top officials of the Sharm el-Sheikh international airport, representatives of the Egyptian intelligence services, the police and the army. "Having made sure that the security at the international airport of Sharm el-Sheikh is provided at a high level, Belavia intends to perform charter flights to Egypt in a routine mode," said Igor Cherginets, Belavia’s Deputy Director General for Marketing and Foreign Economic Affairs. For example Belavia is scheduled to perform two charter flights to Hurghada on 10 November.

While inspecting the airport, Belavia checked the procedures for inspection of vehicles entering the airport transport, passengers, luggage and carry-on bags.

At the moment, a number of states, including the European Union members, inspected and provided assistance in improving the security procedures at the airports of Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada. Flights in both directions are performed by air companies from Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, Georgia, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Tunisia, and other countries. At the same time the UK and Russia stopped flights to Egypt and are now expatriating tourists from Egypt. On 6 November Russia stopped all flights to Egypt until the reasons for the A321crash are established.

Belarus’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommended the Belarusian citizens to cancel tourist trips to Egypt. At the same time the ministry points to the controlled and safe situation in Egypt, including the capital Cairo, for business and other types of visits.

The Airbus A321, operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia, was flying from Sharm el-Sheikh to Saint Petersburg as it crashed about 100km south of the north Sinai town of El-Arish on 31 October. The aircraft was carrying 217 passengers and seven crew members. Egyptian officials said all passengers and crew died. Most of the passengers were Russians. The passengers included four citizens of Ukraine and one Belarusian.

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