British Airways had no 'logical reason' to cancel Cairo flights, says EgyptAir exec

An executive of state-owned EgyptAir said on Tuesday that a decision by British Airways to suspend flights to the Egyptian capital, Cairo, for several days was "without a logical reason."

U.K. airline suspended flights for 7 days, citing security concerns

An executive of EygptAir said Tuesday that Cairo International Airport is safe, after British Airways suddenly announced over the weekend that it was suspending flights to the Egyptian capital for seven days. (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters)

An executive of state-owned EgyptAir said on Tuesday that a decision by British Airways to suspend flights to the Egyptian capital, Cairo, for several days was "without a logical reason."

Sherif Ezzat Badrous, vice-chairman of EgyptAir Holdings Co., told reporters at a ceremony marking the delivery of the carrier's newest Boeing 787 Dreamliner that Cairo International Airport is safe.

The comments come after British Airways surprised travellers on Saturday by halting flights to Cairo for a week, citing security concerns. A spokesperson said the decision was made "as a precaution to allow for further assessment."

Later on Saturday, Germany's Lufthansa said it had cancelled services from Munich and Frankfurt to Cairo, but it resumed flights on Sunday.

"What happened three days ago was unexpected completely, and without a logical reason," Badrous said.

"Until now, at this moment, we don't have any logical reason" for the actions taken by British Airways, he said.  "You can ask them about the true reasons."

Other airlines still operating

On Sunday, Egypt's aviation minister, Younes Al-Masry, "expressed his displeasure at British Airways' taking a decision unilaterally concerning the security of Egyptian airports without referring to the competent Egyptian authorities," the Aviation Ministry said in a statement.

Other airlines were continuing to operate flights to Cairo.

Air France decided to maintain its service to Cairo after liasing with French and Egyptian authorities, an airline spokesperson said in a statement sent to Reuters. Emirates flights were operating to schedule, a spokesperson said.

The website for Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways showed its services were also operating, and a spokesperson said the airline was monitoring the security situation in Cairo.

Tourism in Egypt has taken a hit in recent years after a Russian passenger jet travelling from Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh resort to St. Petersburg was bombed, killing all 224 people on board. A number of countries restricted travel to parts of Egypt as a result.

Global Affairs Canada continues to warn passengers to exercise a high degree of caution when travelling to Egypt, and recommends avoiding travel to the Sinai Peninsula and Western Desert, as well as Egypt's border with Libya.

With files from CBC News