Security sources at the Cairo International Airport said Air Sinai planned to construct an air bridge between Cairo and Tel Aviv to accommodate the pilgrims with four flights per day.
The pilgrims included both Copts and Catholics. The late Pope Shenouda had previously banned Copts from visiting Jerusalem in protest against the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
At least 4,000 pilgrims are expected to head from Egypt to Israel this year, marking a 40 percent increase from the Easter pilgrimage in 2012. Sources conjecture that the spike in travel is due to the fact that the newly instated Pope Tawadros has not formally issued a ban on traveling to Jerusalem, although many Coptic priests insist that Shenouda’s decree is still in effect.