Egypt suspended commercial flights from Iran after hardliner Sunni Islamists objected to the arrival of more than 50 Iranian tourists last week on board an Air Memphis flight.
The first commercial flight to Iran from Egypt took off from Cairo on 30 March and the chartered airplane brought back the group of Iranian tourists on 1 May to Aswan. They also visited the ancient city of Luxur, showcasing the warming of relations between Iran and the new Egyptian government of President Mohamed Morsi.
Egyptian protesters attacked the residence of the Iranian charge d’afaires in Cairo on Friday demanding an end to the restart of commercial flights with Iran.
“Talks were held and there was an agreement to postpone the arrival of (Iranian) visitors to mid-June,” said Rasha Azaizi, Egypt’s tourism ministry spokeswoman on Monday. “The whole operation will be suspended for the time being ... to reassess the issue and review the program,” she added. The minister will be meeting with political parties opposed to the flights to “clear any misconceptions.” (Reuters, 8 April)
File photo: An Air Memphis Airbus A320-200 (Wikipedia)