Russia Suspends Flights to Egypt, Demanding Security

Russia postponed all passenger airlifts to Egypt on Friday. A Russian plane was crashed in Sinai Peninsula on 31st October. A group of ISIS claimed the responsibility of downing the plane the same day it happened. Egypt Govt. dismissed the claim saying those militants didn’t have sufficient range missile to hit planes flying on high altitude. But after preliminary investigation the chances are growing that the plane was downed by an on board bomb.

Russia Suspends Flights to Egypt, Demanding Security

Although Britain was not formally part of the investigation but they suspended their flights as their intelligence overwhelmingly suggested that it was a bomb that caused the plane crash and lives of all 224 on board. Britain suspended their flights to Sinai without waiting for the investigation results and started evacuating Britons on Friday who are around 20000 in number.

David Cameron British Prime Minister stated it was “more likely than not” that the reason was nothing but a bomb. Barack Obama U.S. President also said that we were taking “very seriously” that it was a terrorist activity that brought down the plane since the battle between Egyptian forces and militants is going on for years.

Other than Britain, on Wednesday Ireland also postponed flights to Sharm el-Sheikh. Then Belgium, France and the Netherlands have stopped citizens from traveling to Red Sea resorts. Most carriers have prevented flying to Sharm, comprising German airlines Eurowings, Edelweiss and Slovenia’s Adria.

Now that preliminary investigation results are also pointing towards the possibility of the bomb explosion, Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to suspend all flights to Egypt and started evacuating Russian tourists who are almost 40000 in number. Empty planes will be sent to bring the travelers home. Passenger planes will only be carrying them while their luggage will be brought through cargo planes.

This is a severe blow for the tourism of both countries due to the uncertain security conditions in Egypt. A huge number of Russian tourists go to Egypt when chilly winter repels them away to get cozy in Egypt where they find sun and clear seas. Tourism represents 11% of the economy of Egypt and around 20% of vital foreign currency incomes. It was recovering gradually after many years of mayhem in political condition due to the 2011 revolt that overthrew Dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Russia besides suspending plane flights asking strict security at Egypt airports maintains that the actual cause has yet to come.

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Bill Schroder

Bill Schroder is a Beirut-based correspondent for The World Beast. He has reported from over a dozen countries in the Middle East for such publications. Follow: Tweets by @SchroderBill