FILE – Sharm El Sheikh resort – Courtesy of Flickr
CAIRO - 27 October 2019: British Envoy to Cairo Geoffrey Adams said in "Al Hekaya" talk show on Saturday that after the ban lift on flights from the UK to Sharm El Sheikh Airport both Egypt and the UK “can promote Sharm El Sheikh as a happy holiday destination.”
Adams said he thinks that the economic benefits will be huge and that he is very conscious that people running hotels and people working in hotels in Sharm El Sheikh will benefit hugely from British tourists increasing in number.
The ambassador said that the ban lift is the outcome of “the intense cooperation between the Egyptian and British authorities over many months,” which led to “the confidence to make that decision” on the UK's side.
Adams stated that nearly half a million British tourists will visit Egypt this year. “The vast majority of them will enjoy a happy trouble-free holidays. And, many British people live here as well happily as I do myself,” the ambassador added.
Adams explained, “The next step that needs to happen is that the travel companies need to talk to the airlines. The airlines need to talk to the hotels and people have to sign contracts. So we do not know exactly when will be the first flight.”
Talking about plans to pump more British investments into Egypt, the ambassador stated, “We are very active on this. And, actually recently we convened a new body called the British Investors Forum which brought together 15 of the largest British investors in Egypt and we had a very good meeting with Minister of Investment Dr. Sahar Nasr... We discussed how we can increase investments by those companies in Egypt but also how we can bring new British companies to the market here.”
“ In November, a delegation of Egyptian ministers is going to London to garner up further support for further investments in Egypt...There are lots of preparation for a big event that we have got in January in London. The Africa Investment Summit. We hope that Egypt will play a major role in that summit and that too will lead to a further increase in British investments to Egypt,” Adams stated.
The show’s presenter Amr Adib displayed a number of tweets in response to the lift of the ban. A twitter user called Craig tweeted, “After four years, British tourists can now holiday in #Sharm El Sheikh. Loved all three holidays in a row to @CoralSeaResorts. Where is my passport.”
Another called Trevor Travic TC said, “Where is my passport? Can’t wait to return.” A twitter user named Deben Travel tweeted, “Great to see the flight ban on #sharmelsheikh lifted, let’s hope airlines get in quickly for this winter.”
UK flights to the South Sinai famous resort has been suspended since December 2015, after a Russian passenger plane was downed in a terrorist attack, killing all 224 people on board. Since then, both sides negotiated the resumption of flights, especially as Egypt heightened security measures and implemented all procedures demanded by the Russian side.
“The UK has been clear that flights to Sharm El-Sheikh should resume when the security situation allows. I am pleased that today we can announce the lifting of the current restrictions. We will continue to work closely with our partners in Egypt and airlines that plan to resume flights in the future,” British Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Andrew Murrison said last week.