Restrictions on flights to Sharm lifted
The German Transport Authority has removed flight restrictions to Sharm El Sheikh with immediate effect, six months after the downing of a Russian airliner caused many countries to suspend direct air travel to the resort.
The announcement was made earlier this week, confirmed by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry through the German Embassy in Cairo.
The report stated that specialist technology and trained personnel will be utilised for baggage handling at the airport to 'minimise to the lowest possible level, security risks of baggage delivery and transfer'.
Germany is one of the most highly represented European nations among tourists to Egypt, particularly with respect to diving. Rescinding the flight restrictions will not result in an immediate resumption of flights to Sharm as tour operators have already re-scheduled the bulk of flights that would have travelled to there to other destinations. But with six months to go until the peak of high season in October, there is some hope that tourists will be able to return to the resort this year.
The announcement could well lead other European nations to follow suit. The UK has sent a team of security experts to Sharm with the goal of enhancing security at Sharm airport.
The tourist industry in Sharm has all but collapsed since the restrictions were imposed, with some of the major dive centres either closed or mothballed due to the ensuing drop in business.
The removal of the travel ban by the hugely influential nation of Germany can only be a very positive step forward.
For a full report in the Egyptian press, read: http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/216540/Egypt/Politics-/Germany-resumes-direct-flights-to-Sharm-ElSheikh-M.aspx