All flights from the United Kingdom and Ireland to the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh have been suspended following new fears Saturday’s Russian plane crash may have been caused by a bomb.
The Russian Airbus 321, flying under the livery of MetroJet, crashed on Saturday, killing all 224 people on board. The carrier, Russian airline Kogalymavia, inititially said the crash was likely caused by “external influence”.
Now, Downing Street has said the plane “may well have been brought down by an explosive device” planted by ISIS militants.
The UK suspended flights on Wednesday night to allow experts to assess security at the Egyptian airport.
According to the BBC flights had been delayed as a “precautionary measure” after “more information has come to light”.
“We would underline that this is a precautionary step and we are working closely with the airlines on this approach,” a Number 10 spokesman said.
The Irish Aviation Authority said it has directed Irish airlines not to fly to or from the area until further notice.
UK Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the delays would allow UK experts time to make sure “the right security measures are in place” at Sharm el-Sheikh airport.
“We cannot categorically say why the Russia jet crashed but we have become concerned that the plane may well have been brought down as a result of an explosive device,” he said.
Egypt’s President Sisi is currently in the UK and is due to meet UK Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday.