British Airways cancels all flights to Cairo due to security "precautions"

Clay Curtis
July 21, 2019

British Airways announced Saturday that flights to Cairo were being cancelled for seven days as tensions escalated over Iran's seizure of a British tanker.

British Airways says it has cancelled flights to Cairo for seven days as a precaution following a security review.

Egypt's Ministry of Civil Aviation said in a statement late on Saturday that it had contacted the British Embassy in Cairo which had confirmed that the decision to suspend the flights was not issued by Britain's transport or foreign ministries.

Lufthansa said its own flights were suspended shortly after, citing "an unclear security situation", but resumed service to the Egyptian capital on Sunday.

It followed the UK Foreign Office updating its travel advice to Egypt saying "There's a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation".

Ahmed Fevzi, head of Cairo Airport Company, said they have not received any notification from the British Airways over their flights suspension to Cairo, the local daily reported.

The move, also taken by Australia's Qantas, Dutch carrier KLM, Emirates, Germany's Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines, followed the downing of a USA drone by Iran.

Christine Shelbourne, 70, from Surrey, England, told the BBC that she was headed to Cairo with her grandson when, after check-in, her boarding pass failed to work.

The 31-year-old says she can not find any direct flights.

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It remains unclear what exactly prompted the move.

The government advised against any travel to North Sinai, and all but the most essential travel to most areas in South Sinai.

Chairman of the Cairo Airport Company, Ahmed Fawzi, told an Egyptian newspaper that British Airways did not communicate concerns about airport security to the airport authority before the cancellations.

The Egypt State Information Service could not immediately be reached for comment.

All 224 mostly Russian passengers were killed when Metrojet Flight 9268 suddenly dropped out of the sky over the Egypt's Sinai peninsula, shortly after having taken off from Sharm el-Sheikh global airport.

A series of bomb attacks targeting tourists in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula killed 34 people and injured 171.

The UK was one of several Western countries which suspended all flights to Sharm el Sheikh in response to the attack - the Foreign Office still advises against all direct air travel to the peninsula.

Some passengers were only informed of the news after already arriving at London Heathrow airport for their flight.

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