Cairo: Egypt said it has started flights to return thousands of Ukrainian tourists stranded by the war in their home country.
The national carrier EgyptAir and affiliate Air Cairo are operating flights to carry the Ukrainians from Egypt to countries neighbouring Ukraine, a government official said.
“The Egyptian state will bear the cost of the flights,” government spokesman Nader Saad added.
Around 4,000 Ukrainians have been ferried from Egypt aboard the flights so far, he said.
“The flights will continue to alleviate suffering of the Ukrainian tourists,” he said.
Upon the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, Egypt has extended the accommodation of the Ukrainian tourists at hotels at the expense of the Egyptian government.
Between 17,500 and 20,000 Ukrainian tourists are estimated in Egypt mostly in the Red Sea resorts of Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada, with some further south in Marsa Allam, Reuters reported last week.
The stranded holidaymakers are awaiting return to Europe.