Better safe than sorry

By | Category: Travel destinations
Egyptonce flights resume, there is no reason not to travel to Sharm. It should be even safer

When Egyptian flights resume, there is no reason not to travel to Sharm. It should be even safer

The decision by the British government to suspend flights to Sharm El Sheikh tells us a great deal about current thinking and although the Egyptian foreign minister has said the act was “premature”, Egyptian outrage has been muted.

This morning the Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, has given at least four interviews to major news outlets and has largely said the same thing which is that he hopes flights can resume tomorrow; that people needn’t come home early unless they wish and that the resort of Sharm remains safe.

So what can we deduce from the action and the interviews and comments made so far?

Firstly, the reason to suspend flights must be due to particular intelligence that either a person or persons at the airport has been spotted by intelligence services or that the handling of bags and planes at the airport is not as secure as elsewhere in Egypt. Because there is a thought amongst regular travellers is a bit lax at all Egyptian international airports from time to time, it suggests to me that a person or group of persons at Sharm has come to the eyes of the intelligence services and that the extra security issues being put in place is an added level of security to make us feel more secure.

Russian and the UK are the two biggest sources of holidaymakers to Sharm so after the disaster that overtook the Russian flight, you can understand why, if there was to be another attack, it might be against a British flight given that that would damage the two main contributors to tourism and the local economy.

This morning there are reports that the Egyptian military has moved into the airport. If this is accurate then are they there to arrest, check on people or improve the level of security?

That the British authorities moved so swiftly suggests that something was reasonably imminent and quick action disrupted whatever was afoot. Foreign Office advice did not change and the website still says that Sharm is safe for tourists but that they recommend no-one flies to Sharm. This suggests a particular aviation issue be it for the airport or a flight. That the advice does not apply to flights to Cairo or Luxor pinpoints the problem as only being at Sharm.

Two of Just about Travel’s writers were in Egypt last week. They still found the heritage entrancing, the people friendly and inviting and the hotels good value.

Given all that, the potential visitor will probably feel more secure after this incident knowing that additional checks at Sharm will be made from now on. Earlier this week, the Egyptian tourism minister was telling the travel trade in London that the number of British visitors was increasing again and that two very large museums were under construction to celebrate the country’s rich past.

The present inconvenience should not deter visitors from holidaying there when flights resume which may be as soon as tomorrow.

 

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