The first UK flight to Sharm El Sheikh is scheduled to touch down in Egypt today after a four-year ban. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) warned against travel to the city after a devastating terrorist attack.
On 31st October 2015, 224 passengers lost their lives on a flight to St Petersburg – it became known as one of the worst aviation disasters Russia had seen – resulting in many countries banning their airlines from flying to the popular Red Sea resort. The ban was lifted October 2019 in the UK on the basis that air security had greatly improved.
Today, Red Sea Holidays will be one of the first tour operators to resume travel to Sharm El Sheikh – initial flights will be departing from airports in Birmingham, Manchester and Gatwick. The widespread demand for the prolific destination has urged tour operators to believe that demand will only grow, as holidaymakers continued to travel to the resort despite warnings from the FCO. Now the ban has been lifted, one of the UK’s largest holiday companies, Tui, has flights due to depart from a range of airports in February 2020.
Despite the lift on the aviation ban, the FCO are advising travellers that: “Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Egypt. Although most attacks occur in North Sinai, there is a risk of terrorist attacks across the country.”
If your upcoming travel plans are affected due to a terrorist attack, you should first contact your airline or tour operator who will either; provide you with compensation or offer to change your travel dates or destination. It’s worth noting, the tour operator may not take responsibility if the FCO has advised against travel to the destination.
If you’re concerned about terrorism, you should research travel insurance which specifically include relevant cover. Although terrorism cover is very limited and generally not available as standard, more specialist policies may look to cover you under ‘cancellation due to any cause that you could not foresee or avoid.’ These policies are few and far between, and are likely more expensive than standard cover, so make sure you read your policy wording carefully before purchase.