UK Lifts Ban on Flights to Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt

UK Lifts Ban on Flights to Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt

Uk lifts ban from direct flights to Sharm el-Sheikh are to resume after the government ended a ban imposed in 2015. After 224 individuals died in the bombing of a Russian airliner, linked to the Islamic State group.

Egyptian officials have since admitted the airport fell well short of international security standards. The Department for Transport said there had been improvements in security procedures.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said lifting the restriction was “the first step” in resuming direct flights. He said: “The safety and security of British nationals remain our top priority and this decision follows close co-operation between our aviation security consultants and their Egyptian counterparts, and enhancements in security procedures at the airport.”

The foreign office and Commonwealth office has updated its advice. Saying it “no longer advises against all but essential travel by air to/from Sharm el-Sheikh”.

However, it says “there remains a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation in Egypt” and additional security measures are in place for flights departing from Egypt to the united kingdom.

Travel company Tui said it would reintroduce Sharm el-Sheikh flights following the decision, “taking into account customer demand”.

EasyJet said it would “look at any opportunities” as a result of the lifting of the flying restriction from the united kingdom.

Trade organization Abta said the lifting of restrictions was “welcome news” for its members.

“Sharm el-Sheikh has been a very popular destination for United Kingdom holidaymakers in the past before the restrictions were in place,” a representative said.

“The news is also positive for the local economy in this region of Egypt that’s dependent on the benefits of travel and tourism bring.”

Rescue Flights

According to the foreign office, 900,000 UK visitors traveled to the beach resort in 2015. But that number dropped to 231,000 in 2016 after the ban on direct flights. UK holidaymakers heading to Sharm el-Sheikh were forced either to take multiple flights or book a place on a ferry from the red sea resort of Hurghada.

Earlier this year, the Egyptian ambassador to the united kingdom. Tarek Adel, said that Egypt had finished working with British security teams to upgrade its airports and was ready to welcome flights once more. After the united kingdom government suspended flights to the red sea resort. Over 16,000 Britons stranded in the area were brought home on rescue flights amid increased security.

The Airbus A321, operated by the Russian airline Kogalymavia, was brought down by a bomb on 31 Oct 2015 in the Sinai shortly after take-off. Most of the 224 passengers killed on the plane in 2015 were tourists, including 219 Russian citizens, four Ukrainians and one Belarus national. Of the 217 passengers, 17 were children.

UK security service investigators said they suspected someone with access to the aircraft’s baggage compartment. Inserted an explosive device inside or on top of the luggage just before the plane took off. The Islamic State group claimed it was behind the attack.

 

 

Resources :

www.bbc.com

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