Sunday witnessed the signing of an agreement between Lebanon's Tishoury Tours and the Alexandria-based Marseilia Tours in which they agreed on establishing a weekly charter flight between Alexandria's Borg El Arab airport and Beirut's Rafic Hariri International Airport, giving Lebanese citizens direct access to Alexandria for the first time, Shorouk News reports.

The head of Tishoury Tours, George Boulous, said to Shorouk that the agreement entails visa-free entry to Alexandria for Lebanese nationals, making it the second Egyptian city, after Sharm El Sheikh, where Lebanese citizens are not required to apply nor pay for an Egyptian visa.

"The people of Lebanon adore Egypt and would prefer it over many other destinations, which is what we plan to take advantage of to attract Lebanese tourism to Alexandria and the North Coast," said Boulous during the signing ceremony. He explained that the average expenditure by a Lebanese tourist for a 4-night stay is around $1K, which could mean good news for Egypt's tourism industry.

Charter flights are those which are not part of an airline's regular schedule. They are usually plane journeys which are arranged by travel companies for their customers, for which tickets typically sell at a lower price. It had recently been announced that tourists will soon have charter-flight access to Cairo via the new Sphinx International Airport, set to open this summer.

Lebanese nationals seeking to get through the gate at Cairo International Airport would either have to apply for a pre-entry visa from Beirut's Egyptian Embassy or pay a $25-visa fee at the airport's visa office.