Airlines react as David Cameron gives go-ahead for air travel from Egypt

Airlines have been communicating their plans to resume service today and start returning British holidaymakers home from Sharm el-Sheikh, after the Prime Minister gave the go-ahead for air travel.

Air crash: Investigators inspect debris (Credit: Alaa El Kassas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Air crash: Investigators inspect debris (Credit: Alaa El Kassas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The Foreign Office cancelled departures from the Egyptian beach resort on Wednesday following the crash of a Russian airliner.

At the time, UK Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, advised against all travel through Sharm el-Sheikh airport as there is a "significant possibility" that the Airbus that crashed over the Sinai on Saturday, killing all 224 people on board, was brought down by an explosion on board.

Today, 25 flights are preparing to leave the resort, with very tight security restrictions. Most airlines, including British Airways and Dutch carrier KLM, have issued statements on their websites telling passengers that they can only take hand luggage on board.

British Airways says passengers will only be allowed "two small pieces of hand luggage" for essentials such as mobile phones, keys and passport. Hold luggage will be stored in secure locations at Sharm el Sheikh airport and the UK Government will make arrangements for it to be returned to customers in due course.

Cancelled BA flights to Sharm el-Sheikh will be refunded, with the opportunity to switch to an alternative destination.

Meanwhile easyJet's "rescue flights" for British tourists have been suspended by Egyptian authorities, according to press reports. The airline planned to send out nine empty planes to Sharm el-Sheikh today, returning more than 1,500 stranded Brits to Gatwick, Luton and Stansted. Two planes are still scheduled to depart.

Thomson Airways has cancelled all of its outbound flights to Sharm el-Sheikh, offering full refunds.

Monarch released a statement saying that it is working with the Foreign Office to make arrangements to bring home customers currently in the resort, after it cancelled all out-bound and in-bound flights.

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