Sharm airport security 'inadequate' hears Aito conference

Sharm airport security 'inadequate' hears Aito conference

Security and aviation arrangements in Sharm el-Sheikh are still not adequate enough for UK flights to resume, according to the British Ambassador to Jordan.

Edward Oakden told delegates at the Association of Independent Tour Operators’ annual conference in Jordan that the whole Middle East region faced some “obvious challenges which are not going to be quickly resolved”.

Speaking about the decision of the Foreign Office to suspend UK flights into Sharm el-Sheikh following the bombing of a Russian aircraft in October 2015, he said: “I can assure you that in the case of Egypt we would not be putting advice out without the fullest information.

“On the basis of all the information available to us we have come to the conclusion we have. Our judgement in the case of Sharm is that the arrangements in security and aviation are still not adequate for flights to resume.”

His comments follow a recent plea by Egyptian tourist authorities and a raft of travel organisations including Aito, the UN World Travel Organisation and World Travel and Tourism Council to the British government to reconsider its current flight ban.

They argue increased security measures at Sharm el-Sheikh airport means it is now safer than Heathrow.

Oakden stressed Foreign Office advice was put together carefully and with a great deal of thought. “We have come to our own view on what we think the balance of risk is to the British travelling public,” he added.

“An enormous amount goes into our travel advice around the world. It’s the responsibility of the embassy concerned to ensure the advice is as relevant and up to date as we can make it. Our job is not to market a country, it’s to give the best advice we can.”

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