British tourists stranded at Sharm


Egyptian authorities have suspended flights to return the 20,000 Britons stranded in Sharm el-Sheikh

Renowned sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik pays tribute to the passengers of St. Petersburg bound Russian airliner that crashed in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula; at Puri beach, Odisha

EasyJet on Friday said it had suspended its flights just hours after British authorities said flights had been resumed from the Egyptian resort amid tightened security, including a ban on carrying hold luggage, the Huffington Post reported.

Eight of 10 scheduled flights are said to have been affected, and media at the scene suggest that the carrier will only return 339 passengers to Britain today.

UK Ambassador to Egypt John Casson has been “heckled by holiday makers” at Sharm el-Sheikh, a BBC reporter based in Cairo tweeted. Casson has been pictured speaking to reporters at the scene where he is said to have denied Egyptian authorities were “blocking arrival of UK planes”.

The evacuation of British tourists was allowed to proceed after Downing Street said there had been an agreement with the Egyptian authorities on a “package of additional security measures”, including empty holds, extra screening on passengers, and checks on their hand luggage.

The organised return from Sharm el-Sheikh comes amid reports that a bomb may have been smuggled into the cargo hold of the Russian Metrojet airliner carrying over 200 people on board, which disintegrated above the Sinai desert on October 31.