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Diverting for danger: Airline cancels all flights and holidays to Egyptian holiday resort

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DEMISE: Once a popular tourist resort, attracting 700,000 Brits a year, Sharm El-Sheikh’s tourism industry has suffered massively since the blowing up of a Russian plane last year

DEMISE: Once a popular tourist resort, attracting 700,000 Brits a year, Sharm El-Sheikh’s tourism industry has suffered massively since the blowing up of a Russian plane last year

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.   

DIVERSION: Monarch planes will not travel to Sharm El Sheikh for the foreseeable future

DIVERSION: Monarch planes will not travel to Sharm El Sheikh for the foreseeable future

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.


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We've teamed up with O2 for you to win £2000 flights package.



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The Asian Express Newspaper in association with O2 World Chat is offering its readers a ‘once in a lifetime’ prize of £2,000 free airfare 

Hurry for your chance of winning. Simply follow the instructions below and let the world become your oyster. Competition closes 30th April 2016.

1) Text the short code ‘World A’ to 60102

2) You'll receive an SMS message from O2 with the link to download O2 World Chat

3) There are two links - tap the first one to download the app and complete the registration process by inputting your phone number into the app

That's it! You're entered in the competition - good luck!

(Terms and Condition  apply - see bottom of page. Standard mobile network cost of text.)

About O2 World Chat

Whether you have family abroad or want to keep up to date with a travelling friend, the O2 World Chat app is all that you need to have access to some of the cheapest rates around.

taj mahalFrom just 1p per minute, residents here in the UK can make calls across the world through the free app, available on any UK mobile network.


No longer do you have to rely on typing out long PIN numbers or swapping SIMs when calling abroad, just simply open the app and get connected.

images-14Download the app today and not only will you instantly be able to take advantage of some of the most competitive international rates, but users will also receive first five minutes worth of calls absolutely free to call anywhere in the world. Once this offer expires, simply top up your balance to continue to make calls with those around the world.

More information is available via

Terms and conditions for the competition
The prize draw will be made by O2 on 30th April 2016
The winner will be contacted by phone by The Asian Express Newspaper (**within 2 weeks of the draw being made**)
After discussion with the winner the Asian Express Newspaper will purchase flight tickets to their chosen International destination up to a value of £2,000 and arrange delivery to the winner.
Tickets may be single or return and any class but must be to one destination only and be used on one trip only.
All tickets will be subject to availability and any flight restrictions
The winner must be one of the named flight ticket holders but the winner may select any other individual(s) to accompany. All passengers must be in possession of the legally required travel documentation, visas and rights to travel to the chosen destination.
Any person under the age of 18 must have approval to travel from a parent or guardian and must be accompanied by an adult
No cash alternative is available.
If the value of the flights exceed £2,000 the winner will be responsible to pay the extra amount. Any payment will be due to the ticket supplier as advised by the Asian Express prior to the tickets being issued.
If the winner selects a flight worth less than the value of £2,000 the remaining amount will be lost and the customer cannot try to re-use this.
Flights must be taken by 31st December 2016