Britain aims to resume Egypt flights tomorrow

Updated: 2015-11-06 01:03


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Britain aims to resume Egypt flights tomorrow

An Egyptian military helicopter flies over debris from a Russian airliner which crashed at the Hassana area in Arish city, north Egypt, in this file photograph dated November 1, 2015.[Photo/Agencies]

LONDON -- Britain hopes to resume flights from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh tomorrow, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin told the House of Commons in an emergency statement Thursday.

But he said the ban on flights to and from the resort would remain in place Thursday. Flights were suspended after a bomb was believed to have been responsible for the crash of a Russian jetliner. Investigators are currently working to ascertain the exact cause.

In his statement to members of parliament, McLoughlin described some of the information made available to the British government as sensitive.

He outlined a two stage process: working with airlines to put in place a short-term measures which could include different arrangements for handling luggage, and working with the Egyptians and airlines to put in place long term security measures.

He said over 900,000 British nationals visit Egypt every year.

"The safety and security of the traveling public is of course the government's highest priority. We have aviation security experts on the ground and will have arrangements to bring people home safely in due course," said McLoughlin.

"The airlines are working with us to bring their passengers home. No UK-bound aircraft will take off until it is safe to do so. We do not expect flights to leave today, but we hope to have flights leaving tomorrow," he added.