Egyptian Air Sinai resumes flights to Israel


Egypt’s Air Sinai has renewed air travel to and from Israel after a two week hiatus due to the demonstrations in Cairo and a reduction in passengers. Only El Al flew to Cairo out of Ben-Gurion International Airport during this time.

The first Air Sinai flight since service resumed on Friday had 72 passengers on board.

A senior director in the Transportation Ministry’s department of international relations, Avner Ovadia, told Haaretz: “Air Sinai did not inform the Transportation Ministry of its stopping its service to Israel, but rather, of a temporary cancellation of flights over the past few days.”

Ovadia said Air Sinai’s flights were resumed as soon as the situation in Egypt allowed.

Meanwhile, passage of people through Israel’s land border with Egypt at Taba has come to almost a complete stop. Only 132 people crossed back and forth between Egypt and Israel last weekend, 20 times fewer per day than the number of passengers that typically crossed before the riots began in Egypt two weeks ago.

Most of the people crossing at Taba were Israelis going to Egyptian hotels at Taba itself, where the casinos resumed operations again last week, and a few foreign tourists.

The United States and Russia issued travel advisories to their citizens not to visit Egypt, drastically reducing the number of tourists crossing the border from Israel for one-day trips to Sinai.

According to the director of Royal Jordanian Airlines in Israel, Dvora Bruchstein, very few Israelis canceled their trips to the Far East via Amman, as TheMarker reported.

In 2010, 116,800 people flew between Israel and Jordan, an increase of 31.6 percent over 2009. Among those passengers, 106,700 flew Royal Jordanian. Most were continuing to destinations in the Far East.