BA described its decision to cancel flights to Cairo as a 'precaution' pending further assessments
BA described its decision to cancel flights to Cairo as a 'precaution' pending further assessments © Getty

British Airways and Lufthansa suspended all flights to Cairo on Saturday, citing unspecified security concerns.

“We constantly review our security arrangements at all our airports around the world and have suspended flights to Cairo for seven days as a precaution to allow for further assessment,” BA said in a statement.

Neither the British airline or Germany’s Lufthansa would say what prompted the cancellations. Lufthansa resumed flights to Egypt on Sunday.

EgyptAir’s flights to London have not been affected and the airline said it was putting on additional flights and using larger planes to accommodate travellers affected by the stoppage. Younes al Masry, the Egyptian aviation minister met the British ambassador and conveyed to him Egypt’s dismay at BA, which, he said, made a unilateral decision that “concerns the security of Egyptian airports without referring to the relevant Egyptian authorities”.

The British Foreign Office updated its travel advice on Saturday with a reference to the British Airways suspension. The Foreign Office advice warns against all but essential travel to the area west of the Nile Valley and Nile Delta regions, and by air to and from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where a Russian passenger jet was bombed in 2015. It has not issued similar warnings against air travel to and from Cairo.

“There’s a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation. Additional security measures are in place for flights departing from Egypt to the UK,” the British advice said.

Air France, which also offers flights to Cairo, said in a statement that in liaison with French and Egyptian authorities it had decided to maintain its service to Cairo.

“Air France continually analyses flyover areas and destinations that may pose a risk with French authorities and regional authorities around the world. Air France is monitoring the situation in Egypt in real time,” the airline said.

Get alerts on Airlines when a new story is published

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window)

Follow the topics in this article