Orascom Development Egypt, the owner of Taba Heights resort in Egypt's Sinai peninsula, has announced it had signed a contract with Polish tour operator Itaka for flights to Taba airport starting November 7, 2018, Travel Wire News has reported.

Initially, Itaka will charter two flights per week through May 2019. Subsequently, the tour operator will also start selling holiday packages in Taba from Czechia, nearly quadrupling the capacity in the Egyptian city.

The flights are set to become Taba's first regular charter flights after a couple of years of nearly no traffic. Since 2013, multiple countries have issued safety warnings to its citizens to avoid travelling in the Sinai peninsula outside of Sharm el Sheikh in the southern part of the peninsula. The warning was caused by terrorist attacks, including a 2014 incident in which a bomb downed an A321-200 operated by MetroJet (Russia) (7K, Moscow Domodedovo).

"The travel ban is the main challenge for us and we are struggling to provide comfort for tourists who travel to Taba. Currently, we are in negotiations with Ukrainian and Polish travel agencies to conduct flights to Taba International Airport. Moreover, we succeeded to attract Lithuanian and Latvian tourists. We also managed to attract Romanians, who will arrive in Taba through Aqaba [in Jordan] in November," said Emad El Tarabishy, senior owner representative of Taba Heights Resort.

The airport saw its first flight in a number of months in June 2018, when Alexandria Airlines (DQ, Cairo Int'l) operated an ad-hoc charter to Taba.

Taba Heights is looking to use Aqaba in Jordan as an entry point and is working on developing common packages, wherein tourists would arrive in one of the resorts, travel to the other, and depart from there at the end of their stay.

Taba and Aqaba are located only 10 kilometres away on two opposing banks of the Red Sea's Aqaba Bay. However, the two cities are separated by a narrow strip of Israel, where Eilat is located.