Passengers about to board a British Airways flight to Cairo, capital of Egypt, from London’s Heathrow Airport were turned away and the flight cancelled as it announced the suspension of its flights to that country.
In cancelling flight and suspending operations to Egypt, the British Airways said that it will not have alternative flights for a week, and did not specify state what was the security issue that led to its action. The flag carrier simply said that the airways would not operate its aircraft unless it felt it was safe to do so.
“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.”
British Airways, in a statement said:”the safety and security of our customers and crew is always our priority, and we would never operate an aircraft unless it was safe to do so.”
Some affected passengers posted pictures on social media appearing to show a letter handed out by BA with a similar message.
A spokeswoman for the airline said it could not immediately offer more information about the suspensions. Reuters said the Egypt State Information Service could not immediately be reached for comment. A spokesman for Cairo airport told the BBC the airport had yet to be notified by BA of any such changes.
Three Egyptian airport security sources told Reuters that British staff were checking security at Cairo airport on Wednesday and Thursday. They provided no further details.
In its travel advice for British nationals heading to Egypt, the Foreign Office in London warns: “There’s a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation.
“Additional security measures are in place for flights departing from Egypt to the UK. You should co-operate fully with security officials at airports.”
Britain advises against all but essential travel by air to or from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on the Sinai peninsula.
“Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Egypt. Although most attacks occur in North Sinai, there is a risk of terrorist attacks across the country,” Britons are warned.
“Terrorists in Egypt likely maintain the intent and capability to target aviation.
“The greatest threat is on the Sinai peninsula where Daesh (Islamic State group) operate with greater freedom, but terrorists are active in mainland Egypt, including Cairo,” it said.
The Foreign Office warns that it “can’t offer advice on the safety of individual airlines.”
About 415,000 British nationals visited Egypt in 2018.