Tuesday, August 20, 2013

■ EGYPT: Various airlines issue travel advisories, suspend services to Egypt in the wake of ongoing unrest.

Egypt flagOwing to the precarious political and social situation in Egypt, the following countries and airlines have issued advisories regarding their current and future operations into the North African country: Belgium, Egypt, Germany, Italy, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovenia, the UAE, the United Kingdom, the US.

  • Belgium: Government has extended a travel warning to tourist resorts on Friday that led to travel agencies Neckermann and Jetairfly cancelling all trips to Egypt until August 31. 
  • Egypt: Egyptair (MS) Egypt Air has asked passengers to check-in four hours ahead of departure and to monitor their flight status through the airline's website during the current situation in the Cairo and other Egyptian cities. The airline said today that it has continued its normal operations and has been offering facilities to its customers during curfew times.
  • Germany: Air Berlin (AB) says it has suspended bookings for its flights to Sharm el Sheikh, Hurghada and Marsa Alam in Egypt until September 15 at the earliest, but will continue to operate scheduled flights to Red Sea resorts in the meantime. The airline made the announcement in response to a German Foreign Ministry assessment of the security situation in the North African country. Condor (DE) and TUIfly (Germany) (X3) have gone a step further and suspended their Egyptian operations completely until September 15 with the exception of flights to bring back tourists already in the country. 
  • Italy: ENAC, the local civil aviation authority, has confirmed that flights to and from Egypt will continue as usual
  • Russia: Russian passenger airlines have been ordered to compile a list of measures for a potential evacuation of Russian nationals from Egypt, national aviation watchdog Rosaviatsia said on August 16. Rosaviatsia has informed the air carriers about the necessity to urgently work out measures for removing passengers from Egyptian territory in case emergency circumstances occur and to draft alternative routes in case flights from Cairo, Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurgada become impossible.
  • Sweden:  The Swedish foreign ministry has led Swedish tour operators to stop all trips to the resorts of Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada.  
  • Switzerland: Swiss Airlines (LX) is continuing their flights to and from Cairo, Hurghada, Sharm el Sheikh and Marsa Alam. SWISS passengers booked on flights to and from Egypt with a travel date until and including September 30, 2013, can rebook their flight once at no cost. The original ticket will have had to be issued before August 17, 2013. The new departure date has to be before November 3, 2013. The airline says it is monitoring the current situation and will inform of any further developments.
  • Slovenia: Slovenia has suspended all its charter flights to Egypt due to growing tensions in the African country. Some 180 Slovenian people have given up their plans to fly to Egypt for holidays on Saturday, the Slovenian Press Agency quoted official sources at tour operator Kompas as saying. The Slovenian Foreign Ministry has advised against non-essential travels to Egypt in the wake of the mounting unrest in the country.
  • United Arab Emirates: Emirates (EK) and Etihad Airways (EY) have confirmed it is business as usual for flight operations to Egypt even as there have been reports of a curfew being imposed in parts of Cairo. Emirates flies daily to the Egyptian capital, confirmed their operations remain as unchanged. Etihad also stated that flights to and from Cairo are operating to schedule and there are no reported delays though advised that passengers in Egypt scheduled to travel from Cairo to Abu Dhabi during the curfew period (imposed by the Egyptian authorities) will be allowed to travel to and from Cairo airport, as long as they are in possession of valid travel documentation.
  • United Kingdom: British Airways says it has altered its flight schedules to Cairo so as not to arrive in the Egyptian capital in the evening, into the dusk-to-dawn curfew that has been imposed across the capital and other major areas.
  • United States:  The United States on Thursday warned Americans against travelling to Egypt and urged US citizens living in Egypt to leave the country.