EasyJet says it will restart flights to Sharm el Sheikh in June – more than four years after direct services from the UK were banned on safety grounds.
The government stopped flights in November 2015 following the Islamic State bombing of a Russian airliner shortly after take-off from the Egyptian resort’s airport.
All 224 people on board were killed.
Image: The bombing proved a PR disaster for Egypt’s dominant tourism sector
The atrocity forced the UK to repatriate about 16,000 tourists in a series of rescue flights as the airport’s security procedures were considered high risk.
Hundreds of thousands of UK holidaymakers visited the destination each year until the flight restrictions were imposed.
The Department for Transport announced in October last year that it was satisfied Egypt had bolstered security arrangements to the required standard.
The UK’s biggest travel operator, Tui, announced several weeks later that it would resume holidays in Sharm el Sheikh from February.
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EasyJet said its services from Manchester will begin on 7 June – but flights from Gatwick will only resume on 30 September.
Image: Passengers board an easyJet flight at Gatwick
Sharm el Sheikh experienced a sharp fall in tourism following the bombing – with Russia also boycotting the resort completely.
But investment is understood to be returning as tourist numbers pick up again. Its peak season is traditionally during the winter in Europe.
Ali Gayward, UK country manager at easyJet, said the airline was also expanding flights to another Egyptian beach-based resort, Hurghada.
She added: “The resumption of services to Sharm el Sheikh and year-round flights to Hurghada are both fantastic destinations for both summer and winter sun, with stunning beaches boasting crystal-clear waters and great diving and marine life to explore, we know they will once again be a popular choice for our customers.”
Source : Sky News