British government delays flights from Sharm el-Sheikh to UK

British government delays flights from Sharm el-Sheikh to UK

The British government has delayed all flights from Sharm el-Sheikh to the UK this evening following the fatal Airbus crash on Friday.

The government is blaming security concerns after the Russian Kogalymavia aircraft crashed in the Sinai area of Egypt after taking off from Sharm el-Sheikh, killing all 224 people onboard.

A Number 10 spokesperson said: “While the investigation is still ongoing we cannot say categorically why the Russian jet crashed. But as more information has come to light we have become concerned that the plane may well have been brought down by an explosive device.

“In light of this and as a precautionary measure we have decided that flights due to leave Sharm for the UK this evening will be delayed. That will allow time for a team of UK aviation experts, currently travelling to Sharm, to make an assessment of the security arrangements in place at the airport and to identify whether any further action is required. We expect this assessment to be completed tonight.

"We would underline that this is a precautionary step and we are working closely with the airlines on this approach. The Prime Minister will chair a COBR at 18.45 to review the situation and we will provide an update after that meeting.

"We recognise that this information may cause concern for those in Sharm and indeed for those planning to travel to Sharm in the coming days.

"We have deployed extra consular staff to Sharm who will be on hand at the airport, working with the airlines, to assist British holidaymakers there.

"For others, either in resorts at Sharm or planning a holiday to Sharm in the coming days, our advice is to contact your airline or tour operator."

At this stage the government is not changing the level of travel advice.

Abta said it is liaising with the UK government about the halt in flights and how it can assist its members and customers in resort, or those due to travel out.

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