Saturday 24 August 2019

Irish tour operators cancel package holidays to Sharm el-Sheikh

Egypt travel warnings

Sharm el Sheikh
Sharm el Sheikh
The wreckage of the A321 Russian airliner in Wadi al-Zolomat, a mountainous area of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Russian tourists at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt November 6, 2015. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Falcon and Red Sea Holidays have cancelled their winter holiday programmes to the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

The charter flights, which had been scheduled to depart from Dublin Airport on December 24 and in January, have been cancelled until May.

Holidaymakers booked to travel to Sharm el-Sheikh will be provided with a full refund "or can amend to any holiday on sale", according to a statement from Falcon.

The move follows BA's decision to suspend flights to/from the resort until January 14, while easyJet and Monarch have cancelled flights to January 6.

Travel to Sharm el-Sheikh and Egypt's Sinai Peninsula has been severely disrupted since Russian Metrojet Flight 9268, which took off from the resort's airport on October 31, crashed with the loss of all 224 passengers and crew on board.

Russia has said an explosive device placed onboard the Airbus 321 was to blame for the crash, and jihadist group Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility.

The Irish Aviation Authority has since directed Irish airline operators not to operate to/from the Egyptian Sinai peninsula airspace "until further notice".

The decision to cancel flights and packages will disrupt the plans of thousands of UK and Irish holidaymakers, but at least brings certainty to the situation.

Falcon has apologised to its customers, and is also offering those wishing to take amended holidays before the end of April a €40pp discount.

Both it and Red Sea Holidays plan to go ahead with their summer programmes to Sharm El Sheikh, which commence in May.

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