Egypt welcomes lifting of UK flight ban to Sharm El-Sheikh

Mohamed Soliman , Tuesday 22 Oct 2019

'We hope this is a step towards increasing British flights to all Egyptian airports,' the civil aviation ministry said

Rania Al-Mashat
Egypt's Minister of tourism Rania Al-Mashat

Egypt's tourism and civil aviation ministries hailed on Tuesday the British government's decision to remove a ban against direct flights to the Egyptian tourist town of Sharm El-Sheikh in South Sinai.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation said that the decision indicates the restoration of confidence between the two countries.

"We hope this is a step towards increasing British flights to all Egyptian airports," the ministry added.

The British government has informed airlines that it no longer advises against flying to Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh Airport, the British embassy in Cairo said in a statement on Tuesday morning.

The UK had banned direct flights to Sharm El-Sheikh in the wake of the downing of a Russian passenger jet in October 2015, which killed all 224 people aboard.

Egypt has since boosted security procedures at its airports.

Egypt's Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat has said that the decision to resume flights is expected to push forward relations between the two countries, especially in the tourism sector.

Al-Mashat said that the decision reflects the British authorities' confidence in the security situation in Egypt, especially after the measures taken by the Egyptian government to strengthen security on all levels at airports and in tourist areas.

The minister stressed that this decision will have a great impact on tourist traffic from the British market, not only to Sharm El-Sheikh, but to all Egyptian tourist destinations.

The minister added that the decision to lift the flight ban sends a message to the world that Egypt is safe, and that the Egyptian government prioritises the safety of tourists.

There were approximately 415,000 British visitors to Egypt in 2018.

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