Cairo Riots: Travel Update for passengers flying to and from Egypt

Airlines are either suspending flights or adjusting their schedules to and from Egypt’s capital to work around a nationwide curfew.

Cairo Egypt riots and flight cancellations

Five days of violent protests: A military enforced curfew is preventing airlines from flying into Cairo, Alexandria and Suez between 16:00 and 0800 (local time)

UPDATE: Tuesday February 1 – Flights to and from Cairo are still operating but are subject to delays and disruptions. Governments are sending over specially chartered flights to pick up passengers trying to leave the volatile capital and many airlines are also putting on extra services.

British Midland International (bmi) is running two additional return flights from Heathrow and Cairo airports today, reports Sky News.

British nationals in Egypt requiring assistance or advice can call 020 7008 0000 from the UK or (02) 2791 6000 in Egypt.

Travel Advice for US Citizens

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo has informed U.S. citizens who wish to depart Egypt that the Department of State is making arrangements to provide transportation to safehaven locations in Europe. This assistance will be provided on a reimbursable basis, as required by U.S. law.

U.S. citizens who travel on US government – arranged transport will be expected to make their own onward travel plans from the safehaven location.

US citizens in Egypt who require assistance can contact the U.S Department of State and the US Embassy in Cairo, at: or 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the US, or 1-202-501-4444 for callers outside the US.

European airlines, including Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Air Berlin, said they are sending larger aircraft than usual to Egypt to meet demand.

Travel Advice for Canadian Citizens

The Government of Canada has chartered flights for Canadians who wish to leave Egypt, but cannot secure transportation by commercial means. Seats are available on a cost-recovery basis. Canadians wishing to board must first register with the Embassy or the Emergency Operations Centre. Two evacuation flights are currently planned today (February 1).

Friends and relatives in Canada seeking information on Canadian citizens believed to be in Egypt should contact the Emergency Operations Centre at 1-800-606-5499 or 1-800-387-3124.

Travel Advice for Australian Citizens

The Australian government is sending a specially chartered Qantas flight to Cairo on Wednesday (January 2), which will fly to either London or Frankfurt where passengers will be assisted with onward travel arrangements.

Australians wishing to register for the charter flight should contact the DFAT Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 (if calling from overseas) or 1300 555 135 (if calling from within Australia).

Original Story: Saturday January 29

Airlines are suspending flights and adjusting schedules to and from Cairo to work around Egypt’s nationwide curfew, as violent anti-government street protests against President Hosni Mubarak’s governance continue across the country.

Mobile phone and internet networks have been cut across Egypt, including in tourist resorts close to the Red Sea and Egyptair’s website has reportedly been down since Friday.

Delta Air Lines has cancelled a string of flights to Cairo in the last two days and is advising passengers to sign up to its flight notification service for the latest departure information:

British Midland International (bmi) has cancelled services between Cairo and Heathrow airport departing tomorrow (Sunday January 30) due to the continued disruption. Affected customers are being advised to call the bmi call centre on: 0844 8484888. For the latest flight updates from Sunday 30 January onwards, click here.

British Airways (BA) is still serving Cairo, but has changed its flight timings to operate outside of Egypt’s curfew hours. The airline confirms that it has also chartered a plane today to help bring back extra Britons.

BA is allowing its customers due to travel to Cairo on January 29, 30 or 31 to either: travel at a later date, (up to February 28 2011), cancel the booking, take a full refund or use the value of the ticket towards any other BA destination. Customers due to travel in or out of Cairo can also choose to travel in or out of the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, where flights are unaffected.

The UK Foreign Office and many other governments are advising against all but essential travel to Cairo, Alexandria and Suez in Egypt, while the UK’s government department is not advising British nationals to leave Egypt.

According to the UK’s Assosiation of British Travel Agents (ABTA), the majority of British holidaymakers in Egypt are based in resorts in the Red Sea area, including Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada – a considerable distance from the affected areas.

The trade association adds: “There have been no reports of British nationals being affected by the unrest and foreigners are unlikely to be targeted. However, tourists should continue to follow the advice of their tour operator, local authorities and the Foreign Office.”

All travellers to and from Egypt should check their flight status before heading to the airport.

For the latest UK Foreign & Commonwealth advice, go to:

Up-to-date information on travel and security in Egypt for travellers from the US and Canada is available from the Department of State by phoning: 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the US and Canada. Callers outside of these countries should phone: 1-202-501-4444.

What others have said

  1. I would like to know why should i pay more to change my plain ticket from Sudan to South Africa and why doesn,t Egipt air give us feedback on flights delays or cancellations.We must fly by the 16Feb and still don’t know if we will be able to fly via Cario. Who is going to refund us and who can tell us or give us any prove that we will be able to travel on that day, if not give us an letter to say all flights had been canceld don’t tell us when we arive at the airport.

  2. Louise Driscoll

    Eliz- all passengers booked from Cairo to Canada, Germany or any other country should immediately phone their airline, who are doing their best to get people home on the next available flight. Airlines tend to be waiving the change fee for travellers in this case. Lufthansa has flown over more planes to Cairo today (Jan 31) to pick up extra passengers and return them to Frankfurt.
    Also, here is the latest travel advice from the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada: “Canadians in Egypt should consider leaving if their presence is not necessary. They may wish to ask family or friends outside of Egypt to help with online travel arrangements, such as securing plane tickets, due to the difficulty with internet/phone communication. Canadians will be assisted with leaving a country or a region as a last resort, when all means of commercial or personal transportation have been exhausted.”

  3. Please note that the phone numbers given above are for U.S. citizens. The first number (1-888-407-4747) is for callers who are in the U.S. or Canada. The second number (1-202-501-4444) is for callers who are in other countries. Canadian citizens should contact their government for assistance and information.

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