Is It Safe To Fly In And Out Of Egypt?

by Karen Yuan

Since the disappearance of EgyptAir flight 804 within 10 miles of entering Egyptian airspace, concerns have risen over the safety of flying in and out of Egypt, especially as allegations of terrorism being the cause have grown. No official warnings have been released regarding future flights over Egypt. The country's minister of aviation Sherif Fathy made it a special point to address at a news conference on Thursday, saying that it was still safe to fly in and out of Egypt despite the news, according to a report in The Telegraph. Update: Egyptian military officials found debris and personal belongings from the EgyptAir flight 804 in the Mediterranean Sea early Friday morning.

But if terrorism should be revealed as the cause of flight 804's disappearance, then officials may speak differently. The plane's disappearance is the third in a series of Egyptian aviation incidences in the past six months. In March, an EgyptAir domestic flight was hijacked with a peaceful resolution and no fatalities, but in October, a Russian plane leaving popular Egyptian resort Sharm el-Sheikh was downed in an attack that killed all 224 passengers on board.

Kinda Chebib, a senior travel analyst at Euromonitor International, told CNN, "Although details of [Thursday's] incident are yet to be confirmed, the series of terrorist events hitting Egypt since 2015 raises further concerns about security at airports in the country and is very likely to deter tourists to go to this part the world."

After October's attack, airlines around the world flagged Egypt as a dangerous area for flights. Major European companies like Lufthansa and Air France-KLM rerouted flights around the peninsula where the Russian Metrojet flight crashed, and British airlines British Airways and easyJet announced the cancellation of all flights to Sharm el-Sheikh for the entire summer season. The decrease of flights over the past several months to once-popular tourist spots has caused Egypt's tourism industry to suffer greatly.