Egypt calls on UK to lift ban on flights to Sharm El Sheikh

egypt has renewed calls for the government to lift its ban on British flights to the tourist resort of Sharm El Sheikh, claiming it is causing serious hardship for businesses and employees.

Downing Street imposed a blanket ban on all British flights to Sharm after a Russian charter jet crashed in the Sinai Desert with the loss of 224 lives in November 2015.

British security officials worked closely with their Egyptiancounterparts to overhaul security at Sharm El Sheikh after it was claimed the crash was caused by a bomb placed on the aircraft by Isil-related terrorists.

But Theresa May is still refusing to relax the ban despite the fact the airport’s security arrangements have passed stringent requirements set by British security experts.

Now Egyptian officials are calling on Britain to relax the ban after nearly every other European country has resumed flights to the resort.

“We find it difficult to understand why Britain keeps its ban on flights in place when virtually every other European country has given permission for its airlines to fly to Sharm El Sheikh,” said a senior Egyptian government official.

“The airport has passed every test set for it by British security officials, and it is now time for the government to lift this ban and allow British tourists to visit this popular destination.”

Scores of hotels have been forced to close down in the resort and thousands of workers laid off as a result of the ban, and government officials estimate the closure has cost the Egyptian economy, which relies heavily on tourism for its income, around £10 billion in lost revenue.