All flights to and from Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt have been suspended.
The action is a result of the crash of the Russian charter Metrojet flight ferrying 224 passengers and crew to St Petersburg from the Red Sea resort in Egypt. The aircraft, an 18-year-old A321-200, crashed 30 minutes after take-off.
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said: “We have concluded there was a significant possibility that that crash was caused by an explosive device on board the aircraft.”
Reports in The Times say that the British government “banned three flights from leaving the resort last night – a Thomson flight to Manchester and Easyjet departures to Luton and Gatwick”.
It is estimated that tens of thousands of UK citizens are stranded in the resort.
The intention seems to be for flights to recommence once British officials are satisfied that security is sufficient. Meanwhile, tourists are being taken back to their resorts. For passengers hoping to fly to Sharm el-Sheikh, the advice is to contact your airline.
Easyjet had previously described yesterday’s flights as “delayed”. The two Easyjet flights grounded yesterday evening were EZY8854 to London Gatwick with an original scheduled departure time of 1705 GMT and EZY2398 to London Luton with an original scheduled departure time of 1645 GMT.
In a statement, British Airways said: “Following the decision by the UK government to suspend flights to and from Sharm el-Sheikh, the British Airways flight (BA 2560) due to depart Gatwick on Thursday November 5 will be postponed until Friday. The BA2561 due to depart Sharm el-Sheikh on November 5 will also depart one day later on November 6.
“Customers not wishing to travel on the postponed flights on Friday will be able to claim a full refund, or switch to an alternate destination.”