Sharm el Sheikh was once a thriving Egyptian resort bustling with British tourists
Sharm el Sheikh was once a thriving Egyptian resort, bustling with British tourists.
But two years ago, the popular holiday destination turned into a ghost town.
On October 31 2015, a Metrojet flight from Sharm el Sheikh to St Petersburg, Russia, exploded in mid-air.
The doomed plane crashed into the Sinai desert, killing all 224 people on board.
Sharm el Sheikh: MPs have called for an end to the flight ban after Monarch collapsed
It’s believed a bomb was placed on board from the Sharm el Sheikh airport, in a suspected act of terrorism.
Five days later, the British government placed a ban on UK airlines flying to or from the Egyptian airport.
Just shy of two years later, the ban remains in place, despite officials in Sharm el Sheikh implementing a security overhaul.
The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises Britons “against all but essential travel by air to or from Sharm el Sheikh”.
Monarch Airlines collapsed this week, and one of the reasons boss Andrew Swaffield cited for its demise was the devastating effect of terrorism.
Sharm el Sheikh: Monarch blamed the effects of terrorism on its demise
In a letter penned to staff, Mr Swaffield wrote: “The root cause is the closure, due to terrorism, of Sharm el Sheikh and Tunisia and the decimation of Turkey.”
The debacle has prompted government MPs to refresh calls for the Sharm el Sheikh flight ban to be lifted.
Britain’s All-Party Parliamentary Group is calling for immediate action to prevent other airlines suffering the same fate as Monarch.
The party said: “Monarch’s collapse shows that the ban is not only having a devastating effect on the Egyptian economy, but also damaging the British economy.
Sharm el Sheikh airport has been a no-go zone for British airlines since the Metrojet crash in 2015
“If we do not want to hear of further similar stories, it is vital that the flight ban be lifted as soon as possible.
“The Egyptian government and hotel groups have spent over £20m to ensure that Sharm el Sheikh is now one of the safest airports in the Middle East and meets the demands laid out by the British Government in 2015.”
Egypt’s ambassador to the UK, Nasser Kamel, said: “Scores of hotels have been forced to close down in the resort and thousands of workers have been laid off as a result of the ban.
“I hope that this tragic development might encourage the British government to consider lifting the flight ban as soon as possible.”