Pilgrimage trips to Jerusalem resume as 680 Coptic Egyptians fly to Israel – Tourism – Egypt
The Coptic pilgrims boarded two Boeing 777 aircraft, each with a capacity of more than 350 passengers.
EgyptAir will continue to operate its flights from Cairo airport to Tel Aviv, which started on April 17, to carry around 3,000 Coptic pilgrims until April 24 (Coptic Passover), the sources said Thursday.
The pilgrimage trip includes visits to several holy places, namely: Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Mount Zion, Via Dolorosa, Jericho, Monastery of Temptation, Dead Sea and Mount of Olives.
The trip will cost pilgrims between $990 and $1150.
Pilgrims must take a PCR test 72 hours before travel, provided they have not been vaccinated for six months. Upon arrival at the Israeli airport, pilgrims will be required to take another PCR test.
At this time of year, many Copts wish to visit the Holy Land, and Jerusalem in particular. However, a papal decree issued in 1979 by the late Pope Shenouda III prohibited them from going there.
The decree was issued to protest the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
Since the Camp David Accords signed between Egypt and Israel in 1978, there have been no official travel restrictions between the two countries.
However, many Coptic Egyptians defied the decree, choosing to make the pilgrimage.
In early October, a plane bearing the logo of Egypt’s national airline landed in Israel for the first time. The flight was described as “historic” by the Israel Airports Authority.
Earlier this week, the first direct flight between the Israeli capital of Tel Aviv and the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on the Red Sea began.
In mid-March, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office announced that Egypt and Israel had agreed to expand direct flights between the two countries and that a direct air link between Tel Aviv and Sharm el-Sheikh would begin. to operate in April during the Jewish holiday of Passover.