EgyptAir slams 'illogical' British Airways suspension of Cairo flights

EgyptAir slams 'illogical' British Airways suspension of Cairo flights
The vice-chairman of EgyptAir Holding Company has criticised British Airways after it suspended flights to Cairo on Saturday, saying the decision was 'without a logical reason'.
2 min read
24 July, 2019
British Airways suspended its flights to Cairo on Sunday [Getty]

A senior executive of Egypt’s state-owned national airline EgyptAir has criticised British Airways’ decision to suspend flights to Cairo, saying it was “without a logical reason”.

The vice-chairman of EgyptAir Holding Company, Sherif Ezzat Badrous, told journalists at a ceremony marking the delivery of the airline’s new Boeing Co 787 Dreamliner aircraft that Cairo Airport is secure and EgyptAir is operating in a “very safe environment”

British Airways suspended flights to the Egyptian capital on Saturday for seven days “as a security precaution” while it reviews security at Cairo Airport.

In its travel advice for British nationals heading to Egypt, the UK’s Foreign Office warns: "There's a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation”.

"Additional security measures are in place for flights departing from Egypt to the UK. You should co-operate fully with security officials at airports."

Britain advises against all but essential travel by air to or from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on the Sinai peninsula.

"Terrorists 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," Britons are warned.

"Terrorists in Egypt likely maintain the intent and capability to target aviation.

"The greatest threat is on the Sinai peninsula where Daesh operate with greater freedom, but terrorists are active in mainland Egypt, including Cairo."

The Foreign Office warns that it "can't offer advice on the safety of individual airlines".

Germany’s national airline, Lufthansa, also cancelled flights to Cairo on Saturday but resumed them the next day.

"What happened three days ago was unexpected completely, and without a logical reason," Sherif Badrous said. "Until now, at this moment, we don't have any logical reason" for the actions taken by British Airways.

"You can ask them about the true reasons," he added.

On Sunday, the Egyptian aviation minister, Younis Al-Masry, "expressed his displeasure at British Airways taking a decision unilaterally concerning the security of Egyptian airports without referring to the competent Egyptian authorities," the Aviation Ministry said in a statement.

Other airlines have continued to fly to Cairo. Air France decided to maintain its service uninterrupted after consulting with French and Egyptian authorites.

The travel warning comes as Britain weighs its response to Iran's seizure Friday of a British-flagged oil tankerin the Strait of Hormuz and rising tensions stemming from US sanctions' effect on Iran's economy and oil exports.

An estimated 415,000 British nationals visited Egypt in 2018.

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