Monarch has cancelled all UK flights to Sharm el-Sheikh as British Airways and easyJet flights stay suspended

Rebecca Smith
Flights have been grounded over terrorist concerns
Flights from the likes of Monarch and easyJet have been grounded over terrorist concerns (Source: Getty)

Monarch has suspended all flights between the UK and Sharm el-Sheikh indefinitely as security concerns continue.

Monarch said it was cancelling flights and holiday bookings "for the foreseeable future".

"With no indication from the government as to when the airport will re-open flights from the UK, the airline is cancelling all flight and bookings for winter 2016-17 and there are now no plans for the destination to be part of Monarch's summer 2017 programme," the airline said in a statement.

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Monarch's chief executive, Andrew Swaffield, said:

Much hard work has been done by the UK and Egyptian governments, along with the travel industry, to improve safety measures at Sharm El-Sheikh airport and it is very disappointing that we are still unable to fly there. If and when the airport does reopen then we will assess whether we start flights and holidays again.

Those customers who have existing flight and holiday bookings can re-book to an alternative Monarch destination, free of charge, or obtain a full refund.

Both easyJet and British Airways said flights still remained suspended – they are keeping an eye on government advice on travel.

EasyJet said: "Following the change to the government’s advice on travel to and from Sharm el-Sheikh, easyJet suspended all flying between the UK and Sharm after Wednesday 4 November 2015 and won’t resume flights until after the government’s advice changes."

A BA spokeswoman said the company's position hadn't moved from June. "The safety and security of our customers will always be our top priority and we have suspended our flights from Gatwick to Sharm el-Sheikh indefinitely."

Read more: Thomas Cook extends Sharm el Sheikh travel ban to October

Thomson Airways said its position had not changed from earlier this month. It said: "As the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) continues to advise against all but essential travel by air to or from Sharm el-Sheikh, Thomson and First Choice can confirm the cancellation of all flights up to and including 8 February 2017."

After this date, to meet limited customer demand and enable the airline to keep flying to the area, should the FCO travel advice change, a reduced number of flights are still scheduled to depart from the UK.

These are:

Airport Day of departure Dates
Birmingham Sunday 12 February 2017 – 30 April 2017
Bristol Thursday 9 February 2017 – 27 April 2017
London Gatwick Thursday 9 February 2017 – 27 April 2017
London Gatwick Sunday 12 February 2017 – 30 April 2017
Manchester Thursday 9 February 2017 – 27 April 2017
Manchester Sunday 12 February 2017 – 30 April 2017

Prior to the closure of the airport, around 700,000 Brits visited Sharm El-Sheikh every year, so it's an important holiday destination for the UK travel industry.

The UK government imposed a no-fly rule in the wake of what is now thought to have been a bomb on Metrojet flight 9251 to St Petersburg, a year ago. The plane was destroyed and all 224 people on board were killed.

A government spokesperson said: "The security of British nationals is our top priority and we took the decision to suspend flights from Sharm el-Sheikh in November last year to protect the travelling public. We keep aviation security under constant review."

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