UK urged to resume Egypt flights


MADRID, 30 November 2016: Both the World Travel & Tourism Council and the World Tourism Organisation have called on the UK government to lift the current ban on UK-based airlines flying to Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt.

In a letter to Prime Minister, Theresa May, WTTC president and CEO, David Scowsill and UNWTO secretary general, Taleb Rifai, stressed the importance of resuming operations to the Egyptian coastal resort.

Their statement claimed the current travel advisory was having a devastating impact on the country’s economy and social stability.

inside no 7The ban has been in place since a Metrojet airline, flying from Sharm el Sheikh to St Petersburg, crashed in the Sinai Desert in October 2015.

They said: “Travel and tourism is vital to Egypt’s economy and social peace, contributing 11% of the country’s GDP and 2.6 million in jobs in 2015.”

“The reduction of visitors has created huge employment losses. The country’s biggest concern is how the lack of employment opportunities, especially for young men and women, has instilled a desperate disposition and thus vulnerability to radicalisation or to fleeing on a refugee boat.”

Egyptian authorities claim to have adopted significant measures to step up the level of security, not only in the airport, but also in the surrounding area as well.

These improvements now meet safety standards as indicated by the UK Department for Transport. All other countries, including Germany and Russia, have allowed their airlines to start flying to Sharm el Sheikh again.

“We call on the UK government to review the advisory and allow commercial aircraft to fly to Sharm el Sheikh and thereby help restore the country’s travel and tourism sector’s GDP and employment provision,” the two associations said in their statement.


  1. The issue here is wider than Sharm or Egypt generally . There is a pending court case against UK operators filed by relatives of those killed in the Tunisia beach resort just over a year ago . The UK Gov ( through their FO travel advice ) are implicated in this . The argument is that the UK operators , acting on advice from the FO , sent clients to an ” unsafe ” destination . The case is due to be heard in February , and until then the UK Gov will not take the risk of altering any advice to a sensitive region . In my view it has little to do directly with Sharm .

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