Turkish Airlines, flag carrier of Turkey, resumed flights to Sharm el-Sheikh resort in Egypt almost a year after a Russian passenger plane crashed in Sinai Peninsula last October, according to reports. The Metrojet plane crash claimed lives of all 224 people on board.
The first flight from the airliner landed in Sharm el-Sheikh early Sunday, Sputnik reported, citing Russian-language RIA Novosti news agency. Turkish Airlines is expected to fly to the tourist destination four times a week.
Turkey was among several countries, which included Russia, that suspended flights to Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, from where the ill-fated Metrojet Flight 9268 took off. At the time, it was theorized that the A321 Airbus was brought down by a bomb — a claim that Egypt initially denied. Last December, Cairo released a preliminary report saying its investigation committee did not “receive any evidence” that indicated foul play in the crash.
However, in February, Egyptian President Abdul Fattah el-Sisi acknowledged that terrorism was behind the crash. “Has terrorism ended? No. Whoever downed that plane, what did he want? Just to hit tourism? No. To hit relations. To hit relations with Russia,” Sisi said at the time.
An American official had said at the time that U.S. intelligence indicated the crash happened due to a bomb planted by the Islamic State group, or by an affiliate of the militant group. Last November, Russian newspaper Kommersant, citing an unnamed source, reported that a bomb was placed in the aircraft’s main cabin.