The UK Government has lifted the flight ban to the once popular Egyptian resort, Sharm el Sheikh. All flights were stopped in 2015 after a plane was brought down in the Sinai desert. It is believed a bomb was placed on the Metrojet flight before take-off from Sharm el Sheikh. All 224 passengers and crew died.
For the past four years the Egyptian and the UK government have been working together to improve security, costing Egypt tens of millions of pounds. This working relationship will continue as flights to the region resume.
As of the 22nd October 2019, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office no longer advises against air travel to and from Sharm el Sheikh. It has, however, advised tourists that “terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Egypt”. The government has said that tourists wanting to travel to the premier resort should contact their airline or tour operator to discuss their options.
It is not known how soon holiday companies and airlines will resume services to Sharm el Sheikh, but there’s been interest in tourists wanting to visit the popular winter-sun resort. Both TUI and easyJet have both announced they are seeking opportunities in order to offer these services to their customers.
Since the ban, Egypt’s economy has suffered greatly. In the absence of British holidaymakers, hotels and businesses have targeted Italian, Polish and Ukrainian holidaymakers, according to the Independent, in order to continue trading.
Tourists keen to travel to the resort should ensure they have a suitable travel insurance policy that will cover them against potential threats and unrest. This cover is not widely available, but some travel insurance companies will offer cover for terrorism provided the policy was purchased before a threat was announced and/or carried out.
Other terms can include; the terrorist attack is within or close to the location tourists are staying and accommodation has been damaged. In this instance, tourists may be covered to cancel their holiday if they are yet to travel or move to a safer area to continue their holiday. Tourists should check the policy wording carefully for full details of cover before buying their travel insurance.
For a holiday to Egypt, tourists should also ensure their travel insurance policy will cover them for cancellation of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office change their status back to all but essential travel. Generally, this cover is for tourists who have booked their travel independently and not through a travel agent or tour operator.
It is important to note, disinclination to travel will not be covered by any travel insurance company.