Direct flights between London and Luxor resume after two-year hiatus

Concerns over health and safety amid Covid-19 halted flights between both cities in early 2020

Flights between London and Luxor resumed on Tuesday, two years after a halt induced by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The newly reopened London-Luxor route will consist of a weekly flight carrying 140 passengers each way, the flights' operator, EgyptAir, said.

In September, the UK removed Egypt from its red list of prohibited destinations.

Flights between London and the Red Sea resort cities of Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada have also resumed after a six-year hiatus following a 2015 terrorist attack which downed a passenger jet over the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board.

Egypt’s Tourism Minister Khaled El Anany, who is currently attending the World Travel Market’s Tourism and Travel Expo in London, lauded the return of British tourists during a speech at the Egyptian wing of the event.

He said that in 2006, British nationals constituted the largest portion of tourists visiting Egypt, and added that from 2010 to 2014, they made up the second-largest portion of visitors.

Mr El Anany also expressed his ministry's desire to bring the number of British tourists visiting Egypt back up to those levels.

"After a very difficult and challenging period for the whole industry and the whole world, Egypt is becoming more resilient now. We had a very good summer, the resumption of tourism is very successful. We have managed to gain the confidence of holidaymakers and governments who are sending their tourists back to Egypt,” said Mr El Anany during a televised interview on the sidelines of WTM.

“We have resumed tourism with our main markets, like Russia, England, Italy and Germany so we are very glad,” continued El Anany.

In a ministry statement issued on Facebook, Mr El Anany thanked the British government for its renewed trust in Egypt’s health and safety measures.

As the country’s tourism sector continues to improve after the slump it hit earlier in the pandemic, the ministry announced on Monday new minimum charges for visitors to the nation’s five- and four-star hotels.

From November 1, visitors will have to pay a minimum of $40 per night at any five-star hotel and $28 at any four-star hotel.

The new regulation was put in place in parallel with the new hospitality criteria programme devised by the World Tourism Organisation.

The programme aims to “bring up the level of hospitality offered by Egyptian hotels so they are on par with their international counterparts,” the ministry’s statement read.

Mr El Anany said the ministry is particularly focused on promoting tourism to Luxor this month before a celebration which will reopen the newly restored Avenue of Sphinxes in a grand ceremony that officials are saying will rival the pomp of the Royal Mummies Parade.

The parade took place on April 22 when the ancient Egyptian mummies were transported from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation.

Egypt is currently open to tourists with a valid vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test conducted within 72 hours before travel.

Updated: November 3rd 2021, 3:35 PM