United Arab Emirates airlines, such as Emirates (EMIRA.UL), Air Arabia AIRA.DU and Flydubai, are re-routing flights to avoid flying over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, where a Russian Airbus 321 with 224 passengers crashed on Saturday October 31, Joinfo.ua reports with the reference to Reuters.
The airlines said they were closely monitoring the area and the re-routing was a security precaution. Re-routing usually means longer flying distance, which adds to fuel costs.
Yesterday, Lufthansa and Air France said they would avoid flying over the Sinai peninsula until the cause of the crash can be clarified. British Airways and easyJet said their routes were regularly reviewed, but that they had no plans to alter their routes to and from Sharm el-Sheikh.
It should be recalled that in the morning of Saturday October 31, the Airbus 321 of Russian airline Kogalymavia took off 5:51 a.m. from the Sinai Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg in Russia, 23 minutes later the plane disappeared from the radar, and half an hour later it went down in the mountainous area of central Sinai, killing 217 passengers and 7 crew members.
Militants of an Egyptian group affiliated with Islamic State claims that it downed a Russian flight “in response to Russian air strikes that killed hundreds of Muslims on Syrian land”, but Russia’s Transport Minister told Interfax news agency the claim “can’t be considered accurate”.
According to experts, the militants, operating in the region, including a group of radical ISIS jihadists do not have missiles to hit air targets at altitudes of more than 3-4 thousand meters. Russian airplane was flying on higher echelon of 10 thousand meters.
Egyptian security sources earlier on Saturday said early investigations suggested the plane crashed due to a technical fault.