British Airways - CC Wikimedia commons British Airways - CC Wikimedia commons

UK lifts flight restriction on Sharm El-Sheikh Airport

Tue, Oct. 22, 2019
CAIRO - 22 October 2019: The UK government announced Tuesday it lifted flight restrictions to Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh, and no longer advises airlines against flying to the Red Sea resort's airport.

According to the UK government's statement, improvements in security procedures at the airport, and close co-operation between the UK and Egypt on aviation security, mean commercial airlines can now be allowed to operate routes to and from the airport.

“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,” said Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, Dr Andrew Murrison.

This is the first step in the resumption of flights to Sharm El-Sheikh, which is a popular destination for UK holidaymakers. This decision supports air carriers to provide more choice to travellers hoping to visit the country.

"We look forward to services to Sharm El-Sheikh resuming, and lifting the restriction is the first step in that process. The safety and security of British nationals remains our top priority and this decision follows close co-operation between our aviation security experts and their Egyptian counterparts, and improvements in security procedures at the airport," said Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport in the statement published on the UK government's official website.

“This announcement follows our aviation security experts’ close cooperation with their Egyptian counterparts. We will work closely with airlines who wish to resume flights," British Ambassador to Egypt Sir Geoffrey Adams said in a statement from the UK embassy in Cairo, commenting on the decision.

“We will also continue our work with Egyptian officials to ensure the safety and security of British nationals, which remains our top priority,” added Adams.

The number of UK tourists have grown in recent years, despite the restriction on flights to Sharm El-Sheikh. There were approximately 415,000 visitors in 2018.

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.
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