Thomas Cook extends its cancellation of Sharm el-Sheikh flights

Thursday 24-12-2015 04:15 PM
Thomas Cook extends its cancellation of Sharm el-Sheikh flights

People enjoy the beach at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in the South Sinai governorate, about 550 km (342 miles) south of Cairo, July 12, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh


CAIRO, Dec. 24 (Aswat Masriya) U.K. travel operator Thomas Cook stated on its website on Tuesday that it has extended its suspension of flights to the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh till March 23.

“We're sorry, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) are advising customers not to fly into Sharm el-Sheikh Airport at the moment. We have taken the decision to cancel our flights up to and including 23rd March 2016,” read a notice on the company's website.

The FCO decided in November to suspend flights to Sharm el-Sheikh after a Russian plane crashed in Sinai on October 31, killing all 224 people on board.

As of Nov. 18, the British government advised against "all but essential travel by air to or from Sharm el Sheikh." 

“U.K. airlines are no longer operating flights from Sharm el Sheikh to the U.K.,” the U.K. government’s foreign travel advice reads.

British Airways said it will not resume flights to the Red Sea resort before February 13, Monarch suspended its flights till January 24, and EasyJet till February 29.  

The flight cancellations began on Nov. 5 when both Thomas Cook and Thomson Airways said they would cancel flights until Nov. 12, but the cancellations have since been extended. 

The U.K. is not the only country limiting air links with Egypt. Russia has also suspended all flights to Egypt.

The cancellations came after British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said there is a "significant possibility" an affiliate of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, known as ISIS, downed the Russian passenger plane. 

Egyptian tourism was slowly inching towards recovery when the Russian plane crashed and Egypt fears that the ramifications of this incident will inflict damage on its tourism sector, a vital source of much-needed hard currency.

Egypt maintains that there is no evidence that the incident was caused by a terrorist attack. 

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