UK tourists to fly home as Sharm el Sheikh flights are cancelled

Photo: The Puzzler

UK tourists will be flown home, after the government cancelled all flights to and from Sharm el Sheikh airport today.

The resort of Sharm el Sheikh is a popular destination for many holidaymakers, as well as property owners, with over 900,000 Brits visiting Egypt overall every year. While most visits are trouble-free, on Saturday 31st October, a Russian flight from Sharm el Sheikh to St Petersburg crashed in North Sinai.

The tragic incident has been investigated by Egyptian and Russian authorities, who dismissed suggestions that the Airbus A321 was brought down by an attack, but Prime Minister David Cameron has today said that it was “more likely than not” caused by a bomb.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told Sky News that there is a “significant possibility” that IS was responsible for the crash, which killed 224 people.

As a result, the Foreign Office has updated its travel advice regarding Egypt, requiring all flights between the UK and Sharm el Sheikh to be cancelled until concerns about passenger safety have been resolved.

“As a precautionary measure, we are now advising against all but essential travel by air to or from Sharm el Sheikh,” warns the FCO. “UK carriers will not take passengers directly to Sharm el Sheikh airport.”

The UK is now working with Egyptian authorities and air carriers to put special security measures in place which will permit those stranded in Sharm el Sheikh to return by air, with British nationals recommended to contact their tour operators for more information.

“We have deployed consular staff to Sharm el Sheikh, who will be on hand at the airport and the resort, to assist British nationals,” adds the FCO, with enhanced security measures already in place to protect the Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada resort areas. Security forces are situated at check points around the perimeter of the towns and throughout the Governorates, while police are carrying out vehicle checks in the towns.