London – Airlines will begin flying stranded British tourists home on Friday after the government in London permitted flights from Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh resort to resume.
More than 20 flights are expected to take off for London from the Red Sea beach resort to airlift an estimated 20,000 British citizens remain in Sharm el-Sheikh, including at least 9,000 holidaymakers, a report said.
The development comes after British Airways said it had postponed two Thursday flights scheduled to leave Sharm el-Sheikh until Friday and would provide hotels for stranded passengers.
Thomas Cook, one of Britain’s largest tour operators, said it had suspended all tours to the resort until November 12 and planned to arrange for some 1,700 customers to leave “in due course”.
Pending further government advice, “booking conditions are as normal for travel after that date,” Thomas Cook said.
Similarly, EasyJet and Monarch Airlines said they had suspended regular flights to the resort until November 12.
The two airlines said they planned to operate several scheduled flights Friday from Sharm el-Sheikh plus extra “rescue flights” for stranded passengers.
Earlier, British Prime Minister David Cameron maintained that the crash of a Russian passenger jet in Egypt was “more likely than not” caused by a bomb, despite Russian and Egyptian leaders’ calls for all sides to await results of an official investigation.
Following talks Thursday in London with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, Cameron defended his decision to suspend flights to Sharm el-Sheikh and made public his belief, based on intelligence reports, that a bomb was the likely cause of last week’s crash, which killed 224 people.
“I think we have done the right thing,” Cameron said at a joint press conference with al-Sissi.
It would be recalled that Russian airliner with tourist from Sharm el-Sheikh exploded mid air on Oct.31 killing all 224 passenger and crew on board (dpa/NAN)