British Airways suspends Cairo flights over unspecified security risk

In this Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017 file photo, British Airways planes are parked at Heathrow Airport during a cabin crew strike in London. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

In this Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017 file photo, British Airways planes are parked at Heathrow Airport during a cabin crew strike in London. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

British Airways said Saturday it had suspended flights to Cairo for seven days as a precautionary measure following a security review.

German carrier Lufthansa also said it was suspending flights to Cairo from Munich and Frankfurt just for Saturday without giving any reason.

A Lufthansa spokesman said normal service should return on Sunday.

The British flag carrier said it would not operate its aircraft unless it felt it was safe to do so.

“We constantly review our security arrangements at all our airports around the world, and have suspended flights to Cairo for seven days as a precaution to allow for further assessment,” British Airways said in a statement.

“The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our priority, and we would never operate an aircraft unless it was safe to do so.”

A Lufthansa statement carried by the Financial Times also cited safety concerns.

“As safety is the number one priority of Lufthansa, the airline has temporarily suspended its flights to Cairo today as a precaution, while further assessment is being made,” a Lufthansa spokesperson told the news outlet.

EgyptAir planes are seen on the tarmac at Cairo international airport on May 19, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI)

Egypt’s civil aviation ministry said it was “coordinating” with the British embassy in Cairo and the local BA representative and starting an extra EgyptAir flight to London every day to carry stranded passengers.

Some affected passengers posted pictures on social media appearing to show a letter handed out by BA with a similar message.

A spokeswoman for the airline said it could not immediately offer more information about the suspensions.

The British Foreign Office updated its travel advice on Saturday with the British Airways suspension. The Lufthansa website also included a link to the British warning page.

In its travel advice for British nationals heading to Egypt, the Foreign Office in London warns: “There’s a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation.”

In this image released by the Prime Minister’s office, Sherif Ismail, right, looks at the remains of a crashed passenger jet in Hassana Egypt, Friday, Oct. 31, 2015.  (Suliman el-Oteify, Egypt Prime Minister’s Office via AP)

“Additional security measures are in place for flights departing from Egypt to the UK. You should co-operate fully with security officials at airports.”

Britain advises against all but essential travel by air to or from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on the Sinai peninsula.

“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,” Britons are warned.

Britain canceled flights to Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh in 2015 after jihadists bombed a Russian airliner carrying holidaymakers from the Red Sea resort, killing more than 220 people on board.

An estimated 415,000 British nationals visited Egypt in 2018.

[“source=timesofisrael”]

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