Political Turmoil in Egypt Disrupts Flights to Cairo International

Updated 1/29, 1:45 EST (see below)

With antigovernment protests and disorder in the streets of Cairo, Ben Mutzabaugh of USA Today’s Today In The Sky aviation blog has put together a list of airlines that have either suspended operations to Cairo International Airport or have altered them in order to avoid landing during a state-ordered curfew that will run throughout the night on Friday, a time when many international flights typically arrive at the airport.

According to Mutzabaugh- Lufthansa, Air France, Kuwait Airways, and British Airways were canceling or re-scheduling flights to Cairo. Mutzabaugh also notes that FlightGlobal confirmed, via communication with Delta Airlines on Twitter, that the United States’ largest carrier was canceling tonight’s flight from JFK to Egypt and that tomorrow’s flight from Cairo will go on as planned but would “indefinitely suspended” after that.

Because of its geographic location and its generally good relationship with western countries, Cairo is a major gateway for flights to and from Africa, Europe, and the Middle East with additional flights to North America and Asia.

With the region still in a state of flux, it is unclear when government curfews will be lifted and flights will be able to resume to normal as the situation has continued to escalate.

Update:
The LA Times reports that the curfew will be in effect again tonight but started even earlier, at 4 p.m. local time. Because of the earlier curfew, more flights to the country have been cancelled, including a British Midlands flight from London to Cairo on Saturday that turned around midway after being notified of the earlier curfew meaning passengers would be landing and entering Cairo after the new curfew had taken effect. 

Airlines have continued to cancel flights to the country today including Lufthansa, Delta, Air Berlin, and Poland’s LOT.

The article notes that some carriers, including British Airways, KLM, Alitalia, EgyptAir, and Emirates, will continue to offer service but with altered schedules that work around the 4 p.m. to 8 a.m. curfew being imposed by the Egyptian government as protests continue to mount calling for President Hosni Mubarak to resign.

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3 Responses to Political Turmoil in Egypt Disrupts Flights to Cairo International

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