UK

Russia plane crash: Flight warning for Sharm Britons

Passengers at Sharm el-Sheikh airport Image copyright AFP
Image caption Holidaymakers returning to the UK after Tuesday will do so "at their own risk", the government warned

Britons stuck in Sharm el-Sheikh will have to fly home "at their own risk" if they do not return by the end of Tuesday, the government has warned.

Those returning from the Egyptian resort after then will have to fly on planes without "enhanced UK security measures", the Foreign Office said.

The government suspended flights from the Egyptian resort from 4-6 November.

The decision was made amid fears the Sinai plane crash on 31 October may have been caused by a terrorist bomb.

All 224 people were killed when the Airbus 321, which had been flying from Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg, crashed into the Sinai desert.

UK investigators believe a bomb was put in the hold of the plane prior to take-off.

The government has since been working with airlines to improve security on flights returning from the resort's airport to the UK, with new measures including transporting hold baggage on separate planes.

But it said the last of these flights would depart on Tuesday after which holidaymakers would have to make alternative arrangements to get home.

All UK airlines have suspended flights from the UK to Sharm el-Sheikh.

A statement from the Foreign Office, which is advising against all but essential air travel to or from the resort, said: "This may involve having to travel with an airline to which enhanced UK security measures, for example separate baggage flights, do not apply.

"Travellers are advised that they do so at their own risk."

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption The government said most British tourists were expected to have flown home by the weekend

The government said it expected the backlog of Britons stuck in Sharm el-Sheikh to be cleared "by the end of the weekend".

It said extra flights had been organised to ensure all Britons could leave "while current security measures for UK airlines are in place".

The government said airlines had "assured us that they have sufficient capacity" to fly all British tourists home by the end of Tuesday and "fewer than 200" of their passengers would remain in Sharm el-Sheikh after that.

A Department for Transport spokesman added these people would be those who had chosen to stay.

More than 13,000 passengers have been brought home since flights restarted on 6 November.

Some 20,000 British nationals were thought to be in the resort at the time of the crash.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond previously said the backlog of UK tourists waiting to leave would be cleared by the end of this week.

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