British Airways, Lufthansa suspend flights to Cairo for 7 days as ‘precaution’
The abrupt move was made by British Airways on Saturday and quietly announced to the customers through letters that provided little insight into why the “precaution” was even necessary. No official public statement from the company has been given so far.
The unluckiest travelers were hit by the measure right before boarding their flights and were left stranded at the airport as a result.
“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,” the letter from the carrier to passengers reads.
“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.”
Currently about to board a @British_Airways flight to Cairo and it’s cancelled. Not for a day. Not for two days but for seven. Security risk. Someone knows something we don’t. pic.twitter.com/oGQsSByP35— Shanghai (@shanghai_dan) July 20, 2019
I’ve never heard of flights to/from a destination being cancelled except in the event of an uprising or terrorist attack or something extreme along those lines. Which begs the question, what does @British_Airways know about the security situation in Cairo that we don’t?? pic.twitter.com/LJAFHg7U1g— Youssef Chouhoud (@_abuelbanat) July 20, 2019
A few hours afterwards Germany's Lufthansa was reported to have suspended its flights to Cairo.
“As safety is the number one priority of Lufthansa, the airline has temporarily suspended its flights to Cairo today as a precaution, while further assessment is being made,” Financial Times quoted a Lufthansa spokesperson. The German carrier is expected to resume flights on Sunday.
The abrupt suspension of flights prompted wild speculation, including that British Airways’ move was triggered by the ongoing tensions between the UK and Iran and the situation in the Persian Gulf. The theory appears to be a bit off, since Cairo is not very close to it and the air routes from the UK to Egypt are not even remotely close to the troubled waters of the Gulf.
British Airways has cancelled all flights in and out of Cairo, Egypt for one week. Very odd and leaving many stranded. They cite security reasons but tell travellers nothing else. Not sure if this is in relation to tensions in Persian Gulf?— Bessma Momani (@b_momani) July 20, 2019
It remains unclear what exactly prompted the move, since there were no changes in the travel advisories regarding Egypt in the UK or elsewhere, for that matter. While the document was updated by the UK Foreign Office on Friday, no dramatic revisions were made.
The advisory states that “there’s a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation,” as well as “additional security measures” for flights from Egypt to the UK – but these precautions have been in place since at least March 2017.Also on rt.com Explosion targets tourist bus near Giza pyramids
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