CAIRO, Egypt – The October 2015 crash of a Russian plan was caused by a person or group who “aimed to hit Egyptian tourism,” said President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in his opening address to the Egypt’s Vision 2030 conference Wednesday.
“He who caused the plane crash….aimed to spoil the relations with Russia,” he added. Previously, the government refrained from stating the cause of the crash, instead deferring to an investigation team that has yet to complete its work, despite London and Moscow declaring that a bomb was probably the cause.
On Oct. 30, 2015, Russian plane crashed in Central Sinai 23 minutes after it took off from Sharm el Sheikh Airport, claiming the lives of 224 passengers and crew.
Following the incident, Russia imposed a travel ban on Egypt and banned EgyptAir flights go Enter is airspace; other European countries including Britain imposed travel ban on flights going to Sharm el-Sheikh.
Following the crash, the Egyptian government contracted with UK-based Control Risks Co. to monitor the security situations in its airports.
Egypt’s tourism sector, which represents 11 percent of the country’s GDP, has been suffering from ongoing shocks ever since the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.
The recent crash has caused a severe drop in hotel occupancy in the Red Sea resort town, where the winter months are typically its peak season.