The British Government has suspended flights between the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh amid fears that the Russian-owned Airbus A321 which crashed on October 31 may have been brought down by an explosive device. The Metrojet aircraft, bound for St Petersburg, came down in the Sinai desert shortly after take-off killing all 224 on board.
In a statement on the evening of November 4, the British Government’s Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, said: “We have concluded there was a significant possibility that that crash was caused by an explosive device on board the aircraft.”
He added that UK representatives are in Sharm el-Sheikh to access the situation and that the Government is working with the airlines and Egyptian authorities to introduce short-term measures to guarantee the security of departing flights.
Nineteen services – all subsequently cancelled – were scheduled to fly from the popular Egyptian tourist destination on November 5 but British Airways and Monarch have stated that they will operate flights on Friday November 6. British Airways said it will operate two services while Monarch said three rescue flights will be provided in addition to two scheduled services.