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Brussels Airlines postpones planned service to Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt over security concerns
8 June 2018

Belgian media reported that Brussels Airlines decided to postpone it’s planned service to Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt over security concerns.

Brussels Airlines planned to commence flights to Sharm-el-Sheikh Airport on June 29, but decided to postpone its service until at least October 26, 2018.
Sharm-el-Sheikh Airport lies on the southern tip of the Sinai peninsula. This area is of concern to aviation authorities, especially since the crash of a MetroJet Airbus A321 in October 2015. The aircraft crashed in the desert when a bomb exploded after departure from Sharm-el-Sheikh. All 224 occupants were killed.

The United States’ FAA, for example, states that routes “over the Sinai Peninsula and aircraft operating to and from Sinai airports are at risk from potential extremist attacks involving antiaircraft weapons, to include Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS), small arms fire, and indirect fire from mortars and rockets targeting Sinai airports.”
In a recently extended Notam, the FAA  advises U.S. airlines and operators to avoid flying below FL260 in this area.
Similarly, EASA issued a Conflict Zone Information Bulletin of which the current version is valid until 25 November 2018. This bulletin draws the attention of operators to warnings issued by several aviation authorities. The United Kingdom warns: “Operators are strongly advised to avoid operating at less than 25,000 ft agl in this [Sinai peninsula] airspace.”
Germany states: “Entire Sinai Peninsula presents a risk below FL260, as do landings at HEAR/El Arish, HEGR/El Gora, HETB/Taba, HESC/St. Catherine, HESH/Sharm-el-Sheikh.”

A review by ASN of shows several airlines operating into Sharm-el-Sheikh Airport in the past week. Most countries do not prohibit these flights and allow airlines to do their own risk assessments. Judging by the routes flown, some airlines decided to operate into and out of Sharm-el-Sheikh by avoiding overflying the Sinai peninsula. Airlines that did overfly parts of the Sinai peninsula below FL260 are marked * in the list below.

EASA Member States:

  • Danish Air Transport (Denmark)
  • Enter Air (Poland) *
  • Germania Flug (Switzerland)
  • Neos (Italy) *
  • Small Planet Airlines Polska (Poland)
  • TUI fly (Belgium) *

Egypt:

  • Air Cairo *
  • AlMasria Universal Airlines *
  • AMC Airlines
  • EgyptAir *
  • Egyptair Express
  • Nile Air *

Other countries:

  • Azur Air Ukraine (Ukraine)
  • Belavia (Belarus) *
  • Jordan Aviation (Jordan)
  • Kuwait Airways (Kuwait)
  • Pegasus (Turkey) *
  • Royal Jordanian (Jordan)
  • SkyUp Airlines (Ukraine)
  • THY (Turkey) *
  • Ukraine International Air (Ukraine)
  • Windrose (Ukraine)

Example flights routing into Sharm-el-Sheikh over (left) and past Sinai (right)

 

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