Saturday, July 20, 2019

British airways and Lufthansa's flights temporary suspension : What is the problem in Cairo ?

I am suffering from current blogging block but this news and its developments are forcing me to go back and ask one question: What kind of information the British airways got that made the airways giant decide to halt to its flights to Cairo for a whole week?

Already it will be a long night for the Egyptian government especially in the foreign ministry, tourism ministry and Civil Aviation ministry in addition to a bunch of National security agencies in the country.

Saturday evening, the British airways surprised everyone and declared that it was suspending its flights from London to Cairo for seven days.

Yes, the British airways “BA” decided to suspend its flights from London to Cairo for seven days starting on Saturday shocking everybody including passengers who knew about the decision while waiting for their flight to Cairo.

In short statement, BA says the flights to the Egyptian Capital Cairo have been suspended for seven days as a “Precaution to allow for further assessment.” 

The statement did not mention what kind of assessment but many point out to the foreign security assessment of Cairo International airport.

Now it is only for the flights from London to Cairo and vice versa for seven days, the suspension does not include cities other than Cairo.

When I checked I found that there are still flights to Sharm El-Sheikh and other Egyptian cities so the problem is in Cairo or rather Cairo International airport. Also, other British airliners have not suspended their flights too.

"Updated on 21/7/2019:"

British airways office in Cairo tells BBC that the flights will continue on Friday. There are no further details on why the suspension decision was taken. Egyptians are speculating everything starting with a Middle East war in the Gulf to the Algerian football fans stuck in Cairo international airport. 

Yet an Egyptian security source spoke with Reuters and said that “that British staff had been checking security at Cairo airport on Wednesday and Thursday”, so what the results of this assessment were not that good I guess !?

Egypt’s Ministry of civil aviation issued a statement after a couple of hours following the British airways’ decision.

Concerning what some foreign news websites regarding the suspension of British Airways’ flights from London to Cairo International airport for seven days. An informed official source in the ministry stated that there was currently coordination with the UK embassy in Cairo and that the embassy asserted that the suspension decision was not issued by the British transportation ministry or the Foreign or the Commonwealth office. 

Currently, the civil aviation ministry is checking the information with the British Airways office in Cairo.
The civil aviation ministry is currently increasing the number of seats in EgyptAir airplanes heading to London. Also, a new 787 Boeing “Dreamliner” airplane is assigned to have an extra flight to London starting from Sunday to facilitate the travel of those passengers during those 7 days

First of all, “these” were news websites’ reports or claims as it was an actual and official statement issued by the British airways.

Second, it is a great move from the Civil aviation ministry to run extra flights to help passengers in that week. I hope those flights won’t be expensive and the passengers receive a high-quality service so EgyptAir earns new passengers. "Updated on 21/7/2019: EgyptAir increased the prices of the Economy Class coz fuck logic !!"

The UK government did not issue any warning based on its evaluation on Saturday in its Egypt’s travel advice official webpage but it mentioned the British airways’ decision so the travelers would take care as its latest update.

Within a couple of hours of BA’s announcement, we found out that German airline giant Lufthansa has suspended to Cairo too and passengers knew about the decision only as they were waiting for their flight in Munich airport.

Aviation reporter Alex Mercheras tweeted that he contact Lufthansa officials and technically they told the same thing BA said: “Suspension is a precaution till further assessment” !!

After a couple of hours, we found out that Lufthansa that the flights would be resumed on Sunday which is a good thing.

It is a good thing because if Lufthansa continued its suspension, more airliners will follow its steps and we will find ourselves in front of a huge problem.

Nevertheless, BA has not changed its position.

Some are sharing the travel advisories issued by the US, UK and Canada early July which state in nutshell "practice enhanced caution” when traveling to Egypt due to reports of civil unrest in the area".

Yet such travel advisories are not that alarming, they are the normal due to the unique status of our dear part in the world. Also, why would BA wait for two weeks at least to suspend its flights for such decisions?

It is not a big secret but the Egyptian tourism sector is just recovering from huge setbacks especially after the bombing of the Russian airliner in Sinai.

Such decisions from the airliners in the size of BA can bring down the whole touristic season in Egypt. The repercussion of such temporary suspension won't be cheap.

The Egyptian government had high hopes that the AFCON 2019 championship would send a message to the world especially tourists to come and visit Egypt.

Unfortunately, British Airways’ decision will create more headlines than AFCON2019 success. Now people will think twice because of this one-week suspension.

Me and others are worried. Some fear that the UK got a tip for an upcoming terrorist attack. I can’t blame them.

I think we as Egyptian people and taxpayers need to know what made the BA think twice about Cairo International airport, if it failed in the latest assessment then we should know because some officials should be held accountable.

Is there something wrong in Cairo?

Hopefully, this decision won’t affect the touristic season in Egypt. 

1 comment:

  1. I strongly believe this has to do with the exodus of Algerian supporters back to Algiers, after the end of the cup of nations. More than 15,000 Algerians are waiting in the airport to be shuttled back on special charter flights (10 military planes, 9 domestic planes) that are making round trips.

    I do not have an account but check for more details.
    I do not know if planes are flown from other cities in Algeria as well. But in my opinion, this looks like a very plausible reason.

    The take on British Airways (and Lufthansa) is the lack of transparency and professionalism)


Thank You for your comment
Please keep it civilized here, racist and hateful comments are not accepted
The Comments in this blog with exclusion of the blog's owner does not represent the views of the blog's owner.