Foreign Office urged to allow flights to resume
After visiting Shark El Shiekh, Sir Gerald Howarth, MP, has called on the British Government to allow flights to the airport to resume. Four members of the Parliamentary Group on Egypt visited the resort for a week to inspect security at the airport.
Sir Gerald, chairman of the group, urged the Foreign Office to lift its ban on flights using the airport. He said, in a TV interview, that the Department for Transport after inspecting security at the airport 'felt that the conditions had been met to enable flights to resume'.
The Foreign Office recommended British tourists not to use the airport after a Russian aircraft crashed killing all 224 passengers and crew last October. It was thought a bomb had been placed in the plane at Sharm airport and the security at the time was severely criticised.
Most European countries stopped flights to the destination pending improvements to airport security. Earlier this summer Germany lifted its ban, but the British ban is still in place.
Following his inspection, Sir Gerald said: 'We thought that they’d put in some pretty sophisticated checks there and we think a lot has been done. But, most importantly, we talked to a representative from the United Kingdom’s Department for Transport who also felt that conditions had been met to enable flights to resume'.
He continued: 'I have already been in touch with the Prime Minister’s office and on behalf of my group, I have written a letter urging her to make a swift decision on this.'
During their visit the group also met the Egyptian President; Ministers for Justice, Tourism and Defence; the National Security Advisor; representatives of the Egyptian Parliament, and the Chairman of the newly formed Egypt-British Parliamentary group.