Egypt aborts UK’s plan to resume services to Sharm el-Sheikh airport

5 November 2015 (Last Updated November 5th, 2015 18:30)

The Egyptian authorities cancelled the UK flights from landing at Sharm el-Sheikh Airport, aborting the efforts to transport stranded British citizens back to their country.

Egypt

The Egyptian authorities cancelled the UK flights from landing at Sharm el-Sheikh Airport, aborting the efforts to transport stranded British citizens back to their country.

The UK were to resume its flight services to the airport today after Egypt has agreed to implement additional security measures.

However, EasyJet said in a statement that the Egyptian authorities have currently suspended UK airlines from flying into the airport.

"We are working with the UK Government at the highest level on a solution. In the meantime we are also developing a contingency plan so we can bring our customers home as early as possible, once we get permission to fly," it added.

"We advise British nationals in Sharm to check with their airline or tour operator on their travel plans."

The British Government halted all its flights to and from the Egyptian airport on Wednesday, a few days after a Russian plane from Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg crashed, killing all the 224 passengers on-board.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: "Outbound flights from the UK to Sharm el-Sheikh remain suspended and the Foreign Office continues to advise against all but essential travel by air to or from Sharm el Sheikh airport but we are continuing to work with the Egyptians to get back to normal service as soon as possible."

A British spokesperson told CNN that six members of the British military have been deployed at the airport to oversee the security arrangements.

The Downing Street spokesperson added: "We advise British nationals in Sharm to check with their airline or tour operator on their travel plans. The additional security measures will include permitting passengers to carry hand baggage only and transporting hold luggage separately.

"We are working with the airlines to ensure there are suitable arrangements in place to reunite passengers with their belongings as soon as possible."

Egypt protested the UK's decision to cancel its flights.

Egypt Tourist Minister Hisham Zaazou told The Daily Beast: "I greatly regret the British Government's decision to halt flights. It seems to have been hasty and I do not understand the logic behind it."

Though the UK and the US suspect the Metrojet Airbus A321 incident was an act of terrorism, Russia and Egypt have been opposing the claim.

Egypt has a history of security lapses at its airports. In May, a mentally disturbed man managed to slip through a hole in a wall of the airport and tampered with a plane.

Being a tension-prone area, some airlines have already aborted flying over the Sinai region.

Air France, KLM, Lufthansa, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Air Arabia, Etihad and Flydubai have recently opted to reroute their flights to avoid the airspace.


Image: The Sharm el Sheikh airport in Egypt. Photo: courtesy of Sharm El Sheikh International Airport.