Russia has begun evacuating its citizens from Egypt following last week’s deadly Russian airline crash in Sinai.
With an estimated 79,000 Russians stranded, mainly in the Red Sea resorts of Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada, it is expected the operation to bring them back home could take several days.
Russia’s Transport Minister Maxi Sokolov said: “planes will arrive empty at various airports in Egypt and pick-up passengers that have return flights but they won’t be allowed to bring their luggage.”
The security measure, which mirrors a move made by Britain, will add to the growing chaos facing many Russian tourists after Moscow suspended flights to Egypt.
Britain’s attempt to bring back some 20,000 stranded holidaymakers descended into chaos on Friday when only eight of 29 scheduled flights took off from Sharm el-Sheikh. With a row over leaving hold luggage behind now settled the operation has resumed.
Egypt meanwhile has criticised its foreign partners for ignoring calls to work harder to combat terrorism after Western intelligence sources said there were signs Islamist militants may be behind the bombing.
All 224 people on board were killed in what the militants described as revenge for Russian air strikes against Islamist fighters in Syria.