British Airlines cancels flights to Cairo for 7 days; Lufthansa does the same, for 1 day

Posted Saturday, 20 July 2019 ‐ CNN

London (CNN)British Airways announced Saturday that flights to Cairo were being canceled for seven days as tensions escalated over Iran's seizure of a British tanker.The flights were canceled "as a precaution to allow for further assessment," the UK airline said in a statement. "The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our priority, and we would never operate an aircraft unless it was safe to do so", it said. In a statement released on its official Facebook page on Saturday, Egypt's Ministry of Civil Aviation said it is in talks with the British Embassy in Egypt about British Airways' decision. The decision to suspend flights was not "issued by the British Ministry of Transport or the British Foreign Office," the statement said. Lufthansa, Germany's largest airline, said Saturday that flights to Cairo were suspended, but reported later Saturday flights would resume on Sunday. A company spokesperson would not comment on what information the airline received that prompted it to cancel Saturday's flights.The UK Foreign Office updated its advice to citizens traveling to Egypt on its website, stating in part, "There's a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation. Additional security measures are in place for flights departing from Egypt to the UK." Britain reiterated warnings Saturday that it would take "robust" action if Iran did not release a UK-flagged oil tanker it seized in the Strait of Hormuz, the latest confrontation in a tense standoff unfolding in the important shipping route.In 2015, a Russian Metrojet Flight 9268 exploded over Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, killing 224 people on board. Authorities have said it appears a bomb had been placed on board.No US air carriers fly to Cairo.Mendonca reported from London, and Ellis reported and wrote from Atlanta. CNN's AnneClaire Stapleton, Susanna Capelouto and Sharif Paget in Atlanta and Ghazi Balkiz in Beirut contributed to this report.

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