Shares in British listed airlines are tanking this morning after easyJet said it’s cancelling all flights between the UK and Sharm el-Sheikh on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast until at least January 6.
easyJet has taken the decision following the downing of a MetroJet commercial airliner in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula in October, which killed all 224 people on board. The airline is obviously concerned about a heightened terrorist threat in the wake of that incident and the recent Paris attacks.
The UK and Belgium are both currently at the highest level of terror threat, whilst France is still in the midst of a state of emergency. On Monday night, the USA put out a Worldwide Travel Alert to citizens, warning them of the high danger of terrorist attacks across the world.
Shares in easyJet fell by at least 5% at one point, before recovering slightly to losses of around 3.5% at 09.30 a.m. GMT (4.30 a.m).
A statement posted on easyJet’s website on Tuesday says: “We are sorry for the inconvenience this will obviously cause, but we hope that being clear with all our customers at this point helps you to manage your plans with more certainty. The situation is beyond our control and passenger safety will always be our number one priority.”
The news comes in the week after British Airways confirmed that it will not fly between the UK and Sharm el-Sheikh until December 17.
The announcement from easyJet came amid reports that a Russian jet had been shot down close to the Turkish-Syrian border.
The incident is the second major plane crash in a month, following the downing of the MetroJet airliner in Egypt, thought to have been carried out by ISIS (so-called Islamic State).
Shares International Consolidated Airlines Group — which owns British Airways, Aer Lingus, and Iberia — also tanked in early trade. The company dropped by around 4%, before recovering to be down by 3.3% at 0930 GMT.
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