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UK airlines delay resumption of Sharm El Sheikh flights

Monarch Airlines, Sharm El SheikhMonarch Airlines is the latest UK carrier to announce it is extending its ban on flights to the holiday resort of Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt. The holiday airline says it is moving the planned relaunch of its flights to the Red Sea town back from 14 March 2016 to 18 April.

The airline posted up a notice on its website portal which explained that the UK government had not changed its travel advice for the Sinai. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) says Britons should not travel to the southern half of the Sinai Peninsula unless it is absolutely essential.

Sharm El Sheikh is close to the peninsula’s southern tip. The FCO advice also says Britons should not travel to the northern half of the Sinai for any reason whatsoever as there is a high risk of getting caught up in a terrorist attack.

The Monarch Airlines statement said the carrier was committed to the safety of its passengers. For this reason, it will not resume Sharm El Sheikh flights until the FCO and the Department for Transport give the green light. 

Monarch has followed the lead set by EasyJet. The latter says it will resume limited flight services to Sharm El Sheikh on 29 May if the FCO cancels the ban. A spokesperson said EasyJet planned to relaunch twice weekly services from London Stansted, but said it would not be resuming flights from Gatwick, Luton or Manchester until demand picked up again.

The UK pulled the plug on flights to Sharm El Sheikh in the first weeks of November following the bombing of Flight 7K9268 on 31 October. The Metrojet flight was 20 minutes out of Sharm El Sheikh Airport and bound for St Petersburg when it blew up over the northern Sinai killing all 224 on board.

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