One of the UK’s leading independent airline group’s have confirmed the cancelation of all flights and holiday bookings to Sharm El-Sheikh for the foreseeable future, following the downing of a plane last year.
On 31st October 2015, a St Petersburg-bound flight crashed as it left the Egyptian airport, causing the deaths of 224 Russian passengers and crew members.
Moscow subsequently stated that the incident was caused by an explosive device, leading the British government to declare it an unsafe place to travel.
British holidaymakers, who were staying in the Red sea destination at the time of the crash, were subsequently evacuated in the first two week of November last year.
A number of airlines have stated their intention of not returning a service to Sharm El-Sheikh in the future, with the latest of those being Monarch at the start of November.
With no indication from the Government as to when the airport will re-open to flights from the UK, the airline is cancelling all flight and holiday bookings for winter 2016/17 and there are now no plans for the destination to be part of Monarch’s summer 2017 programme.
If the airport is re-opened to UK flights in the future, a spokesperson for the airline confirmed that they would ‘re-assess flying there as a new route’.
For Monarch customers who have existing flight and holiday bookings, they can re-book to an alternative Monarch destination, free of charge, or obtain a full refund.
Monarch Group Chief Executive, Andrew Swaffield, said: “Much hard work has been done by the UK and Egyptian Governments, along with the travel industry, to improve safety measures at Sharm El-Sheikh Airport and it is very disappointing that it remains closed.
“If and when the airport does reopen then we will assess whether we start flights and holidays again.”
Prior to the closure of the airport, roughly 700,000 Britons visited Sharm El-Sheikh every year, making it a popular and important holiday destination for the UK travel industry.