Egypt expresses dismay to UK envoy over British Airways flight suspension

File photo shows British Airways planes parked at Heathrow Airport in London. On Saturday, July 20, 2019, British Airways said it is canceling flights to Cairo for a week for unspecified security reasons. (AP)
Updated 21 July 2019

Egypt expresses dismay to UK envoy over British Airways flight suspension

  • British Airways suspended flights to Cairo on Saturday for seven days “as a security precaution”
  • The British embassy in Cairo could not immediately be reached for comment

CAIRO: Egypt’s aviation minister on Sunday expressed his dismay over British Airways’ decision to suspend flights to the Egyptian capital to the UK’s ambassador to Cairo.
International Airlines Group’s British Airways suspended flights to Cairo on Saturday for seven days “as a security precaution” as it reviews security at the city’s airport.
Later on Saturday, Germany’s Lufthansa said it had canceled services from Munich and Frankfurt to Cairo but it resumed flights on Sunday.
Air France, Emirates and Etihad Airways continued to operate flights to Cairo.
Younis Al-Masry “expressed his displeasure at British Airways taking a decision unilaterally concerning the security of Egyptian airports without referring to the competent Egyptian authorities,” the aviation ministry said in a statement released after a meeting between the Egyptian aviation minister and British Ambassador Geoffrey Adams.
The statement went on to say that Adams had apologized for not informing Egyptian authorities before the decision was made and cited him as saying the flight suspension was not related to the security measures at Egyptian airports.
The British embassy in Cairo could not immediately be reached for comment.
A spokesman for Air France, in a statement sent to Reuters, said the airline had decided to maintain its service to Cairo after liasing with French and Egyptian authorities.
An Emirates spokeswoman said its flights were operating to schedule.
“We are closely assessing the situation and are in contact with the relevant aviation authorities with regards to our flight operations to Egypt,” the spokeswoman said.
The website for Abu Dhabi’s Etihad showed its services were also operating and a spokesman said the airline was monitoring the security situation in Cairo.
Tourism, a key source of foreign revenue for Egypt, has been recovering after visitor numbers dropped in the wake of a 2011 uprising and the 2015 bombing of a Russian jet, which killed all 224 people on board shortly after takeoff.
That attack, which was claimed by Islamic State, prompted Russia to halt all flights to Egypt for several years and a number of countries including Britain to cease flights to the Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheikh, which have yet to resume.


Iran says tanker, its oil pursed by US sold to unnamed buyer

Updated 14 min 56 sec ago

Iran says tanker, its oil pursed by US sold to unnamed buyer

  • The tanker was previously heading to Greece’s Kalamata
  • It was supposed to dock at Turkey’s Mersin port

TEHRAN/ISTANBUL: An Iranian government spokesman said an oil tanker pursued by the US has been sold to an unnamed buyer, along with its 2.1 million barrels of crude oil.
Ali Rabiei made the announcement at news conference on Monday in Tehran. He says the ship’s buyer will decide on the tanker’s ultimate destination.

Earlier on Monday, Refinitiv Eikon data showed the tanker is no longer recorded as heading for Turkey, after it switched its destination over the weekend.

The vessel, fully laden with oil, had previously been heading to the port of Kalamata in southern Greece but Greece had said it would not offer any facilities to the tanker.
Shipping data on Saturday had then indicated the vessel was to dock at the southern Turkish port of Mersin on Aug. 31.
On Monday, Refinitiv Eikon data did not specify any destination for the Adrian Darya. Its location is currently south of mainland Greece, west of the island of Crete.
The Adrian Darya, formerly called Grace 1, was released in mid-August from detention off Gibraltar after a five-week standoff over whether it was carrying Iranian oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions.
The United States, which says the tanker is controlled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, deemed a terrorist group by Washington, has told countries in the region not to assist it.