German Airlines Lufthansa cancels flights to Egypt’s Sinai


Location: This map shows the approximate crash zone area in the Sinai peninsula
Location: This map shows the approximate crash zone area in the Sinai peninsula
Germany’s Lufthansa Group says it’s suspending all flights to and from Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh “due to the current situation on the Sinai Peninsula.”

The airline said Thursday that two weekly flights of subsidiaries Edelweiss and Eurowings would be affected. It says it will work with the German Foreign Ministry and trip organizers to make sure that any passengers already in Sharm el-Sheikh are safely returned home.

The Foreign Ministry told The Associated Press there are currently 50 Germans known to be in the resort area.

Other Lufthansa Group airlines have already changed routes so as to fly around Sinai.

Lufthansa says flights to Cairo will not be affected by any of the new measures.

Meanwhile British Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin says Egypt will have to put in place tighter long-term airport security measures before British flights resume to the Sinai Peninsula.

McLoughlin told the House of Commons Thursday that British security teams had been sent to Sharm el-Sheikh and “will be working intensively with the Egyptian authorities to allow normal scheduled operations to recommence.”

The U.K. grounded all flights to and from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula Wednesday, saying there was a “significant possibility” a Russian airliner that crashed Saturday was downed by a bomb.

McLoughlin said short-term measures, including different luggage-handing arrangements, would allow the estimated 20,000 British nationals in the Sharm el-Sheikh area to fly home.

In the longer term, he said Britain would “need to be confident” there was strong security in place before scheduled flights could resume.