Stranded tourists stuck in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh will begin to be brought home today (November 6), airlines operating in the East Midlands and Robin Hood airports.
Thomson Airways runs flights to and from Sharm el-Sheikh both Nottingham East Midlands Airport and Doncaster-Sheffield Robin Hood Airport.
Thomas Cook also runs flights between the resort and East Midlands airport.
Both airlines will be running ‘special measures’ flights to get the holidaymakers back home. after all flights were suspended yesterday over fears that a Russian plane was brought down there by a bomb.
And although tourists will begin to make their way home today, flights to the resort from the two airports will remain suspended until Thursday, November 12.
This follows an announcement from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), advising against all but essential travel to Sharm el-Sheikh - causing all flights to and from the area to be officially suspended across the country.
Thomson has released a statement confirming it will begin returning customers to the UK from today.
It says: “These flights will operate under special security measures mandated by the UK Government. Customers will not be able to bring any hold luggage with them on these flights.
“Only hand luggage can be brought on board and normal Thomson cabin baggage restrictions apply. All hold luggage will be returned to customers under separate secure cover arranged by the UK Government.
“Our experienced overseas resort team are updating all our customers currently on holiday in Sharm el-Sheikh and doing everything we can to assist them as we manage this evolving situation.
“Holiday reps are regularly visiting all hotels and can be contacted for the most up to date information when it is available. Customers are advised to keep an eye on the noticeboards in the hotels or our website for the latest information.”
Thomas Cook also confirmed it would be bringing customers back from today and released a statement which said: “It’s important to note that the change in travel advice relates only to air travel and not to safety levels within the resort of Sharm el Sheikh itself. Therefore, we will be bringing our customers currently on holiday in Sharm el Sheikh home on their scheduled departure flights in line with Government advice. Our team in destination are dedicated to ensuring that all customers are as comfortable as possible until such a time as they fly home.
“In line with the Government’s advisory regarding strict restrictions on luggage, customers will be permitted hand baggage only on these flights, with any large luggage items ‘securely stored at the airport until they can be safely returned to the UK’. Given the limited space in the cabin, Thomas Cook customers will be entitled to two pieces of cabin baggage. Each bag should be no larger than a standard sized carrier or hand bag, one of which can be placed under the seat, the other in the overhead locker.”
Both airlines are also offering customers the opportunity to cancel or re-book their holiday free of charge,
Both companies have set up specific customer phone lines for people due to travel to Sharm el Sheikh up to and including Thursday.
The Thomson number is 01733 224 536 and the Thomas Cook number is 01733 224 520.
For more information, visit the airlines’ websites.