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Russian plane crash: UK Government working to restore flights to bring home holidaymakers

Published 05/11/2015

People light candles during a day of national mourning for the plane crash victims at Dvortsovaya Square in St Petersburg, Russia. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
People light candles during a day of national mourning for the plane crash victims at Dvortsovaya Square in St Petersburg, Russia. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Prime Minister David Cameron said he is working on bringing home holidaymakers stranded in Egypt after all flights from the Sharm el-Sheikh resort were suspended.

However, he has said they may have to wait "some time" as authorities worked to ensure their safe passage.

Around 20,000 Britons are thought to be in the resort and extra consular staff have been drafted in to provide support.

And up to 200 Irish citizens are thought to be in the Red Sea destination.

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The Foreign Office said its security experts were working to resume flights between the UK and the Egyptian resort.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said there were 19 flights scheduled for Britain on Thursday, but none would now depart.

British Airways has said it will resume operations on Friday.

However, Mr Hammond stressed the Foreign Office was not changing the travel advice with regard to the Sharm el-Sheikh resort itself, which it views as safe.

All 224 people on board were killed when the Metrojet Airbus flight bound for St Petersburg from Sharm came down in the Sinai desert last Saturday.

The nature of the crash and the lack of an SOS call have fuelled speculation that it was caused by a bomb or missile.

Today Mr Cameron said it was "increasingly likely" a bomb caused the incident.

How travel operators have responded:

- Thomas Cook has cancelled its flight and holiday programme to Sharm el-Sheikh until November 12.

- Thomson Airways along with First Choice, cancelled all outbound flights to Sharm el-Sheikh up to and including November 12.

- British Airways postponed its Thursday flights to and from Sharm el-Sheikh but says services in both directions will resume on Friday morning. The company is providing hotel accommodation to stranded passengers.

- EasyJet cancelled all flights to and from the resort on Thursday and is keeping future flights "under review".

- Monarch cancelled all flights in and out of Sharm el-Sheikh on Thursday.

The Irish Aviation Authority said it had directed Irish airlines not to fly to or from the area until further notice.

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