UK government lifts Sharm El-Sheikh flight restrictions
British government officials have lifted restrictions on flights to Sharm El-Sheikh Egypt, paving the way for the return of British holidaymakers to the popular destination.
The restrictions have been in place since 2015, following the downing of a Russian airliner.
Welcoming the announcement, Egyptian Minister of Tourism Dr Rania Al-Mashat said: “ We welcome the return of British tourists to Sharm El-Sheikh. This announcement is a renewal of the ongoing cooperation between both nations.”
Restrictions lifted following improved security measures
She added: “This step is a testament to the continuous efforts exerted by the Egyptian government to ensure the safety and security of every visitor in all of Egypt’s destinations and in South Sinai in particular.”
Egypt has made a significant investment in safety and security measures, including CCTV, improved airport security and the addition of GPS on tour buses. A continuous review process has been put in place to enhance the destination’s security measures.
This lifting of restrictions will make way for the first step in the resumption of flights to Sharm El-Sheikh, which was previously a popular destination for UK holidaymakers.
Dr Al-Mashat added: “The lifting of the travel ban on Sharm El-Sheikh regains confidence in one of the most popular, entertaining and enjoyable tourism destinations globally, welcoming tourists from all over the world.”
Egypt wins "most improved" destination for safety
The Minister added that international institutions had “acknowledged the improvements witnessed in Egypt’s security infrastructure.” The World Economic Forum’s 2019 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report (TTCR) ranked Egypt as the most improved destination in the MENA (Middle East North Africa) region for safety and security.
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has attributed growth in the Egyptian tourism sector to the “hugely improved security infrastructure”. The WTTC has also awarded Egypt the annual 2019 Global Champion Award for promoting tourism resilience.
In a statement issued from the British Embassy in Egypt, Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Dr Andrew Murrison said: “The UK has been clear that flights to Sharm El-Sheikh should resume when the security situation allows. I am pleased that today we can announce the lifting of the current restrictions. We will continue to work closely with our partners in Egypt and airlines that plan to resume flights in the future.”
British Ambassador to Egypt, Sir Geoffrey Adams, added: “This announcement follows our aviation security experts close cooperation with their Egyptian counterparts. We will work closely with airlines who wish to resume flights.”
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