French President Nicolas Sarkozy has begun a holiday in Egypt accompanied by his new girlfriend, former supermodel Carla Bruni.

Mr. Sarkozy and Bruni held hands as they arrived in the Egyptian city of Luxor Tuesday, only the second time the couple has been seen together in public.

Mr. Sarkozy and his entourage flew on a private jet provided by French billionaire Vincent Bollore, a long-time friend of the president.

After several days in Luxor, the French president is expected to visit Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh and before starting an official trip to Cairo on Sunday.

Mr. Sarkozy and his second wife Cecelia divorced in October after 11 years of marriage. The 52-year old president made his first public appearance with 39-year old Bruni earlier this month at Disneyland Paris, attracting strong interest from the French media.

Bruni is an Italian-born French citizen who recently became a singer after ending a successful career as a model. She has dated a range of famous men, including rock stars Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton and U.S. tycoon Donald Trump.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.