Egyptair turned flight MS 729 bound for Moscow back to Cairo after a threatening letter was found on one of the seats of the aircraft, Egypt's national carrier said today, Reuters reports.
"The flight landed 22 minutes after takeoff and passengers returned safely to the grounds of Cairo Airport where the necessary measures are being taken," the statement said.
Egypt and Russia agreed to resume flights between the two countries in April, six years after they were stopped. Egypt said it expects more than one million Russian tourists during 2021 as direct flights begin to take off.
Flights to resort destinations Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada were suspended after a Russian passenger plane crashed in Sinai in October 2015, killing 224 people.
Since then, Egypt has been imposing strict security measures across all its airports. A number of national airlines suspended flights to the Sinai Peninsula resorts as a result, causing losses estimated at $1.3 billion to the Egyptian tourism industry.
The first flights arrived from Russia in August and landed in the Egyptian resorts of Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada.
While Egyptian Minister of Civil Aviation, Sherif Fathy, announced earlier this month that Cairo had fulfilled all the security requirements of its airports for the resumption of the Russian flights.
The Egyptian economy relies heavily on tourism to provide jobs and income but setbacks, including instability and insecurity caused by airplane crashes and terror attacks, have brought the vital sector to its knees.