The British government has suspended all flights between the UK and the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh after US and UK officials said they believe the Russian plane that crashed over the Sinai peninsula may have been brought down by an explosive device, Joinfo.ua reports with the reference to the Guardian.
The UK foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, said his government is now advising against all but essential travel through Sharm el-Sheikh airport in Egypt as there is a “significant possibility” that the plane was brought down by an explosion on board, the strongest remarks yet by an official on the cause of the crash.
US intelligence suggested a bomb was planted on the plane by Isis or an Isis affiliate, according to several media reports, citing unnamed US officials.
The British government ordered a moratorium on flights to and from the beach resort while security assessments were carried out, after receiving specific intelligence in the last 24 hours about the plane.
It believes there are currently up to 20,000 Britons on holiday in Sharm el-Sheikh, who might have to be evacuated if the UK decides it is not satisfied with Egyptian security.
It should be recalled that United Arab Emirates airlines re-route flights to avoid flying over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, where a Russian Airbus 321 with 224 passengers crashed. Also, 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.