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SAS may cancel Saturday's flight from Copenhagen to Sharm el-Sheikh. Photo: Vidar Ruud/TT
SAS planes. Photo:Vidar Ruud/TT

SAS cancels Sharm el-Sheikh flight

"This whole affair has become rather politicized"
2:37 min

Scandinavian Airlines has decided to halt a flight to Sharm el-Sheikh, a move that follows UK prime minister David Cameron’s announcement that all UK flights to the Egyptian holiday resort will be cancelled.

On Thursday, SAS press spokesperson Henrik Edström told Swedish Radio News that the airline was discussing the matter and would make a decision on Friday at the latest. The decision to cancel Saturday's departure from Copenhagen came around 6 p.m. Thursday.

Last week, a Russian airliner carrying 224 people crashed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, killing all on board. Egyptian and international experts are investigating why the crash happened.

Defending moves to halt flights to and from Sharm el-Sheikh, UK prime minister David Cameron said it is “more likely than not” that the Russian airliner was downed by a terrorist bomb, the Guardian reported.

On Thursday, Edström at SAS pointed out that no Scandinavian or European aviation authority had announced recommendations for Egypt flights.

Swedish Radio's Middle East correspondent Cecilia Uddén told Radio Sweden that cancelled flights have big consequences for Egypt.

"The effect will of course be a huge blow to tourism in Egypt, especially considering how much it has already suffered in the past five years. Egypt used to have around 15 million visiting tourists per year. That number has gone down to about 10 million," Uddén said.

Uddén pointed out that tourism had just begun to pick up in Egypt and if, indeed, it turns out that the plane was downed by a bomb, that will have enormous consequences. "One tour operator said that that would absolutely kill tourism in Egypt," Uddén said.

SAS normally operates weekly flights from Copenhagen, Denmark to Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt and is cancelling Saturday’s departure, a move that affects Danish charter company Atlantis Rejser, which organises trips to the resort all year round.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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