Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport received on Sunday evening its first couple of flights from the United Kingdom (UK) operated by British TUI AG, since suspending flights in November 2015.
The UK’s decision to suspend flights to Sharm El-Sheikh followed the bombing of a Russian airliner soon after take-off from Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport, which killed all 224 people on board, in October 2015.
The first UK flights carried about 374 travellers on board, 184 of which were coming from Gatwick Airport while 190 passengers arrived from Manchester Airport, Egypt’s Ministry of Civil Aviation said.
High level officials from the Ministry of Aviation and South Sinai governorate received the passengers at the airport.
TUI AG will operate three flights a week to Sharm El-Sheikh during the winter season that ends on 25 March 2020.
In 2014, about 906,000 British tourists visited Egypt, 600,000 of them were in Sharm El-Sheikh, while 1.5 million British tourists visited Egypt in 2010 before the revolution, according to local media reports.
In October 2019, the British authorities agreed to resume flights to Sharm El-Sheikh after a four-year suspension as a sign that confirms the high quality of security at Egyptian airports.
“This announcement follows our aviation security experts’ close cooperation with their Egyptian counterparts. We will work closely with airlines who wish to resume flights. We will also continue our work with Egyptian officials to ensure the safety and security of British nationals, which remains our top priority,” British ambassador to Egypt Sir Geoffrey Adams said in October 2019.
The number of UK tourists have grown in recent years, despite the restriction on flights to Sharm El-Sheikh. There were about 415,000 British visitors in Egypt in 2018, according to the British embassy in Cairo.