11,000 Russian tourists in Egpyt flies back home

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russians fly back home from Egpyt

More than 11,000 Russian tourists on Sunday were forced to return home from Egypt since Saturday after Moscow suspended flights to the country over the Sinai plane crash, a Russian official has said.

“Over the past 24 hours some 11,000 people have been flown out,” according deputy prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich, who added that more people were set to return home later in the day.

Dvorkovich who spoke at the Vnukovo airport outside Moscow, said, “Today is the busiest day in this sense”, noting that Russia was sending a number of experts to inspect Egypt’s airports to see if security needed to be beefed up there.

While it dismissed international suspicions that the Russian jet that crashed on October 31 over the Sinai peninsula with 224 people on board was bombed, Russia halted all flights to Egypt on Friday.

Officials had earlier said on Saturday that nearly 80,000 Russian tourists were still in Egypt, mainly in Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada, and that they would be able to return home at their own pace.

Following in Britain’s footsteps, Russia said tourists returning home would fly without their check-in luggage which will be brought back to the country separately.

Earlier Sunday an Il-76 plane of the Russian emergencies ministry departed Hurghada with some 30 tonnes of tourists’ baggage, with the first Il-76 plane had already brought another 30 tonnes of luggage to Moscow.

The Kremlin insisted the decision to suspend flights did not mean that Moscow believed the crash was caused by a deliberate attack.

Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee said on Saturday that its experts were continuing their work at the crash site together with representatives of Egypt, France, Germany and Ireland.