For Security Reasons, British Airways, Lufthansa Suspend Flights to Cairo

0

Tobi Soniyi

British Airways and Lufthansa have temporarily suspended flights to Cairo for security reasons Sky News has reported.
BA said its services to and from the Egyptian capital would be cancelled for seven days “as a precaution”.
Germany’s biggest airline Lufthansa has reportedly taken a similar decision.

In a statement, British Airways said: “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.

“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.”
A BA spokeswoman refused to give any further details about the decision and said: “We never discuss matters of security.”

The spokeswoman later added: “We are rebooking customers who wish to travel this week on flights with alternative airlines.
“Customers who no longer wish to travel will be offered a refund.”

According to the Financial Times, Germany’s largest airline, Lufthansa, has also suspended flights to Cairo temporarily.
It is understood BA made the Department for Transport aware of its decision before it made the announcement.

A government spokesman said: “We are aware that British Airways is notifying passengers that it has decided to suspend flights to Cairo temporarily.”
According to Reuters, who spoke to three Egyptian sources, British staff had checked security measures at Cairo airport on Wednesday and Thursday.
Passengers due to fly to the Egyptian capital on Saturday night were issued with letters informing them of the airline’s decision.

Cairo airport website’s arrivals page listed flight BA155 from London, due to arrive in Terminal 2 at 11.15pm local time, as cancelled.
The Foreign Office currently advises against all but essential travel by air to and from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el Sheikh, but it has not issued similar warnings against air travel to and from Cairo.

Its website says: “An estimated 415,000 British nationals visited Egypt in 2018. Most visits are trouble-free.
“Terro rists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Egypt. Although most attacks occur in North Sinai, there is a risk of terrorist attacks across the country.”
A spokesman for Cairo airport said the airport had yet to be notified by BA of any such changes.

Some travelers affected by the decision said BA did not effectively communicate the decision to them.
Following the bomb explosion that destroyed a Russian airliner over Egypt’s Sinai peninsula in October 2015 after it had departed Sharm El Sheikh airport, the UK was one of a number of countries to temporarily suspend flights to and from the country.