A series of repatriation flights to bring home British tourists stranded in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh will operate today (November 6). Outbound passenger services from the UK are still suspended following the restrictions introduced by the British Government after the crash of a Russian airliner on October 31. Fears that the Metrojet Airbus A321 might have been brought down by an explosive device have yet to be confirmed but the need to safeguard passengers led to all UK air services to the Egyptian airport being banned on Wednesday. Passenger flights from the UK to the Egyptian tourist resort are still suspended, but on Thursday November 5, the British Government’s Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, said that more than 20 rescue flights, including services Birmingham, Glasgow, London Gatwick, London Stansted, London Luton, and Manchester would take place on Friday.
However, one of the carriers involved, easyJet, has since issued the following statement:
“The situation for UK flights in Sharm el Sheikh remains fluid. We are being advised that the Egyptian authorities will allow a restricted number of UK flights from Sharm el Sheikh today [Friday], two of which are easyJet flights.
“The two flights will be departing from Sharm el Sheikh shortly are as follows:
EZY9398 Sharm el Sheikh to London Luton.
EZY9854 Sharm el Sheikh to London Gatwick.
“This means that we will get 339 passengers home today.
“This also means that eight of easyJet’s planned flights today will no longer be able to operate.
“We will continue to work with the Egyptian authorities and the UK Government to get our customers back home as soon as possible and we continue to work on a contingency plan so we can operate as soon as we receive permission to fly.
“The following flights which will no longer operate today are as follows:
EZY9555 – Sharm el Sheikh to London Luton
EZY9444 – Sharm el Sheikh to London Gatwick
EZY9333 – Sharm el Sheikh to London Luton
EZY9111 – Sharm el Sheikh to London Gatwick
EZY9222 – Sharm el Sheikh to Milan Malpensa
EZY9666 – Sharm el Sheikh to London Stansted
EZY2398 – Sharm el Sheikh to London Luton
EZY8854 – Sharm el Sheikh to London Gatwick
“Whilst this is outside of our control we would like to apologise to customers for the delay. All customers will be provided with hotel accommodation and we are keeping them informed.”
All returning passengers, regardless of which airline they travel with, will only be able to take 5kgs of hand luggage on board thought the Government says it is arranging for all hold baggage to be transported back to the UK within a week to ten days.
Approximately 19,000 British tourists were in Sharm el-Sheik when the emergency security measures were introduced.