32,000 Russians shun evacuation, stay in Egypt


MOSCOW, Russia – About 32,000 Russian tourists still stay at Egyptian resorts in Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh, Oleg Moseyev, spokesman for the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism said on Friday.

Moseyev said “information on the number of tourists arriving in Russia and flying to Egypt will be constantly updated on the official website” of the agency. Russian tourism companies recommend tourists to return home ahead of time although the situation at Egyptian health resorts is so far relatively calm.

“We are having a new tendency at the moment, when tour operators themselves begin recommending Russian tourists to avail of vacant plane seats and return home ahead of time, as everybody understands that the situation in administrative centres of Egypt begins deteriorating,” he said.

Tour operators “promise to return the money for services that have not been used,” he added. Over 8,000 Russian tourists have been evacuated from Egypt in the first few days of February, spokesman for Rosaviatsia Federal Air Transport Agency Sergei Izvolsky told Tass on Friday.

“A total of 3,332 people returned from Egypt on charter flights of Russian carriers on February 3,” he said. Over 5,000 passengers more were evacuated to Russia in the first two days of February, Izvolsky said.

“Fifteen people had not cancelled their trips and flew to Egypt on Thursday,” he added. According to the spokesman, air carriers plan 50 flights to Egyptian airports within Friday. At the present time almost all flights are used for evacuating people from Egypt.

There are also about 30,000 Russians residing in Egypt. About 15,000 of them live in Hurghada.