The state-owned Arab Contractors has been awarded a contract for the expansion of Terminal 2 at the Sharm el-Sheikh airport, according to sources close to the scheme.

Despite reports earlier this year that the government was planning on issuing a public tender, it is understood that the government contractor has been appointed to carry out work on the airports passenger building and the airport’s main hall.

The work, which is expected to be completed within a year, will increase the airport’s capacity by three million visitors.

The original airport expansion plan, which was announced in 2014 and includes the construction of a new terminal and runway, was put on hold in 2016.

“The original plan is still on hold until the tourism movements resume,” a source familiar with the project told MEED last year.

Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt’s most popular island resort, has suffered a steep drop in tourist numbers in 2016 following the crash of the Russian Airbus A321 plane, operated by Metrojet, on 31 October 2015, killing all 224 passengers on board after taking off from Sharm el-Sheikh airport. The downing of the plane, thought to be due to a bomb, was claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis).