Turkish Airlines brings passengers stuck in Egypt to Turkey

Turkish Airlines brings passengers stranded in Egypt’s Sharm el Sheikh back to Turkey after it cancelled its flights to and from city

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Turkish Airlines cancelled its flights to and from Egypt's Sharm el Sheikh due to security concerns after a Russian jet crashed over the city on October 31, 2015

Turkey's national flag carrier, Turkish Airlines, brought passengers who had been stranded in Egypt's Sharm el Sheikh back to Turkey, the airline said in a statement on Sunday.

The 135 passengers, who were waiting to depart Sharm el Sheikh, were sent to Jordan's capital Amman by a rented private jet, Turkish Airlines press office said on Monday.

They arrived in Istanbul at 12:30 am on Monday from Sharm el Sheikh with a Turkish Airlines plane.

Turkish Airlines had cancelled its flights to and from the city of Sharm el Sheikh due to security concerns after a Russian jet crashed over the city on Oct. 31, which killed 224 people on board.

An Egyptian military helicopter flies over debris from a Russian airliner which crashed at the Hassana area in Arish city, north Egypt on November 1, 2015 (Reuters)

"Because of security issues over the airfield of Sharm el Sheikh our flights to and from that destination been cancelled until Nov. 16. In the current situation, the plan for the evacuation of the passengers who are still at Sharm El Sheikh will be shared later," Turkish Airlines announced on Sunday.

The large scale evacuation from the resort city of Sharm el Sheikh, came after US and UK intelligence pointed to a possibility that the Russian plane crash was caused by a bomb on board. Russia initially dismissed the claims, however, later Russian authorities joined the UK and various other European countries and started flying their nationals out of Sharm el Sheikh.

The UK has flown 3,500 travelers out of Sharm el Sheikh so far, with thousands more waiting to be flown home.

On October 31, Russia’s Metrojet Flight 9268 passenger aeroplane crashed in the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 passengers and crew on board. Theories over the cause of crash vary, however, the possibility of a bomb on board is being discussed.

The decision to cancel all flights came after the latest intelligence which indicated that the Metrojet airliner may have blown apart by an explosive planted on board.

The head of the investigation team, probing the downing of the Russian jet which crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula last week, said on Saturday that a noise was heard in the last second of the cockpit voice recording (CVR) but noted that it was still too early to determine the cause of the crash, as investigations are still underway.

The leader of the investigation committee, Ayman al Muqaddam said that experts are still gathering information about the incident and investigators are considering all possible scenarios.

There is currently an international inquiry team, made up of over 50 members, from Egyptian authorities, Airbus - which is the designer of the plane - and Russia who is probing the incident.

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