Britain said Thursday it was planning emergency measures to repatriate holidaymakers from Sharm El-Sheikh over concerns that a bomb may have brought down a Russian jet near there last week.
Prime Minister David Cameron prepared to hold an emergency cabinet meeting on the issue later Thursday after Britain suspended all flights to and from the Egyptian resort pending a security review.
"We're working with the airlines and the Egyptian authorities now to put in place emergency short-term measures that will allow us to safely bring back the British tourists who are there in Sharm," UK foreign secretary Philip Hammond said on Sky News television.
"We expect those to be in place by tomorrow so that people whose flights were due out yesterday or today should start to move out tomorrow," he said.
"Those emergency measures will remain in place as we bring out the British tourists who are currently in Sharm El-Sheikh over the next week or 10 days.
Hammond signalled that the resumption of regular flights to the Red Sea resort could take much longer.
"I can't tell you whether that will be days, weeks or months. We very much hope that it will be possible, hopefully before the Christmas-New Year rush, to declare Sharm El-Sheikh safe and to start to resume normal flight operations between the UK and Sharm," he said.