Egypt’s Aviation Minister dissatisfied with British Airways flights suspension

Egyptian Minister of Civil Aviation Younis al-Masry on Sunday expressed his dissatisfaction with the British Airways’ decision to suspend its flights to Cairo for seven days, starting from Saturday.

This came during a meeting at the ministry’s headquarters with the British Ambassador to Cairo Geoffrey Adams, who apologized to Masry for not notifying Egyptian authorities ahead of the suspension. Adams stressed that the suspension is not related to Egypt’s airport security efforts, which have been praised by international inspection committees, including a British committee of aviation experts.

The officials urged the continuation of joint efforts to solve the problem as soon as possible and maintain passenger safety, stressing the depth of Egypt-UK ties.

British Airways said it made the decision “as a precautionary measure to allow for further assessment.”

Chairman of the Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority Sameh Hafny said the Aviation Ministry developed a plan to use larger models of EgyptAir aircrafts for its UK flights in order to accommodate the largest possible number of passengers. Passengers will remain at the airport because of the cancellation, Hafny said.

He added that Egyptian airports provide security measures in accordance with international civil aviation regulations and have undergone many international inspections which have praised their standards.

Egypt’s Civil Aviation Authority will contact the British airline to find out the reasons for the suspension and to discover the nature of the information they received, he said on Sunday.

In a press statement Sherif Barsoum, the Regional Director of British Airways and the company’s agent in Cairo, praised the security measures at Cairo International Airport as being of the highest level.

Air France said in a statement on Sunday it would maintain its flights to Cairo.

A spokeswoman for the Emirates Airline also said the airline’s flights were operating as normal.

The German airline Lufthansa meanwhile backtracked on its decision to suspend its flights to Cairo, announcing the resumption on Sunday after the cancellation of one flight scheduled to take off from Frankfurt airport on Saturday.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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