EgyptAir to Resume Direct Flights to Sudan Following High-Level Talks

Egyptian authorities have announced that the national carrier, EgyptAir, will resume direct flights to Sudan this week, a move that comes after high-profile discussions between the Egyptian president and Sudan’s military chief. The Ministry of Civil Aviation of Egypt revealed on Tuesday that EgyptAir is set to launch a weekly flight route from Cairo to the Sudanese coastal city of Port Sudan, with the first flight scheduled for this Friday. While specific details about the flight are currently unavailable, this announcement signifies a significant step towards re-establishing air connectivity between the two nations.

Renewed Relations and Strategic Reconnection

The decision to recommence direct flights follows hours of talks between Sudan’s military leader, Abdel Fattah Burhan, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo. This diplomatic meeting holds great importance as it marks General Burhan’s inaugural foreign visit since the eruption of conflict in mid-April. The discussions encompassed various aspects, including strategies to address the ongoing conflict that has affected Sudan’s stability and its neighboring regions.

Resuming Operations Amidst Turmoil

The recent turmoil in Sudan, triggered by tensions between the military led by General Burhan and the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces under the command of Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, has resulted in instability across the nation. The capital, Khartoum, and other regions have witnessed open fighting and unrest. However, Port Sudan, situated on the Red Sea, has experienced relatively limited conflict and remains under military control. This port city has emerged as a crucial entry point for humanitarian aid flights and shipments destined for Sudan.

Focus on Ending the Conflict

Both leaders, President el-Sissi and General Burhan, acknowledged that their discussions encompassed efforts to bring an end to the ongoing conflict. While specific details of their conversation have not been disclosed, the urgency of the situation has prompted the leaders to explore avenues for resolution. Among the issues discussed was the movement of people and goods across the Sudanese-Egyptian border, reflecting the practical challenges posed by the conflict.

“We spoke about ways to end the conflict and address the urgent issues facing both our nations,” Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ali al-Sadiq stated during his visit to Cairo alongside General Burhan.

Humanitarian Crisis and Displacement

The conflict in Sudan has led to a significant humanitarian crisis, resulting in the displacement of over 4.6 million individuals, according to the UN migration agency. Among these, more than 3.6 million people have sought refuge in safer areas within Sudan, while over a million others have crossed borders into neighboring countries in search of safety and stability. Notably, more than 285,300 individuals have sought shelter in Egypt, highlighting the dire circumstances in the region.

Egypt’s Historical Ties and Regional Initiatives

Egypt has maintained longstanding relations with the Sudanese army and its top-ranking officials. In July, President el-Sissi hosted a diplomatic meeting involving Sudan’s neighboring nations, during which a ceasefire plan was proposed. Despite various attempts facilitated by the US and Saudi Arabia, the region has struggled to establish a lasting peace due to the fragile nature of the truces.

Looking Ahead

The announcement of EgyptAir’s resumption of direct flights to Sudan reflects a pivotal step in restoring communication and collaboration between Egypt and Sudan during these challenging times. As diplomatic efforts continue to seek resolutions to the ongoing conflict, the reestablishment of air travel could serve as a symbol of progress and reconciliation for the region.


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