Aviation

British Airways suspends flights to Cairo

British Airways has suspended all flights to Cairo for seven days as a security precaution.

The airline announced on Saturday that all flights to the Egyptian capital will be temporarily postponed for a week.

Airport officials at Cairo’s international airport said the decision came after British security officials conducted routine security checks last week, according to Reuters.

“We constantly review our security arrangements at all our airports around the world, and have suspended flights to Cairo for seven days as a precaution to allow for further assessment,” a statement from British Airways said.

“The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our priority, and we would never operate an aircraft unless it was safe to do so.”

German airline Lufthansa has also postponed flights to Cairo, saying that the period would allow for further assessment.

Egypt’s Ministry of Civil Aviation said that it had been contacted by the British Embassy in Cairo about British Airways’ suspension of flights to the region. It confirmed that the decision to postpone flights from London had not been made by Britain’s transport or foreign ministries, as reported by Reuters.

The Egyptian ministry added that more flights from London to Cairo would be added Sunday “to facilitate transporting passengers during this period.”

The United Kingdom’s Foreign Office (FCO) updated its advice to travellers to Egypt on the weekend advising travellers affected to contact the airline.

The FCO has warned against any travel to and from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, following the bombing of a Russian passenger jet in 2015, which resulted in the deaths of 224 passengers and crew, but has not issued similar warnings against travel to and from Cairo.

The Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) also updated its travel advice at the weekend, with Smartraveller officially advising travellers to reconsider their need to travel to Egypt.

If travellers do still intend to visit Egypt, Smartraveller recommends they take a range of safety precautions, including “having contingency plans”.

DFAT advises travellers do not travel within 50 kilometres from Egypt’s border with Libya and Governorate of North Sinai, including the Taba-Suez Road.

If travel is unavoidable to this region, Smartraveller advises travellers seek professional security advice, and be made aware that travel insurance policies will be void. The Australian government is unlikely to be able to provide consular assistance while visiting this high-risk area.

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