The UK ends ban to Sharm El Sheikh; it had 1.2 million passengers

The UK has ended its ban to Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, after almost exactly four years.  It was introduced in November 2015 after Metrojet flight 9268 exploded after departure.  There were suspicions from the British government of the ineffectiveness of the airport’s security, but flights continued from other European nations. 

In 2016, total seats at Sharm El Sheikh declined by 2.2 million versus 2015, mainly from the UK’s exit – which cut 1.40 million.  Despite a doubling of seats since 2017 – primarily from the growth from Ukraine – Sharm El Sheikh is still down almost one million versus 2015.  

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.

In 2015, 15 UK airports had non-stop service to the Egyptian resort, unsurprisingly led by London Gatwick, Manchester and London Luton.  1.18 million passengers were transported – remembering that nearly two months were cut in what is a reasonably flat year-round market – and an overall LF of ~84%.

Airport Scheduled passengers Charter passengers Total passengers
London Gatwick 192,213 172,172 364,385
Manchester 114,258 167,439 281,697
London Luton 114,858 12,742 127,600
Birmingham 60,383 66,661 127,044
London Stansted 35,432 14,770 50,202
Newcastle 0 49,521 49,521
Bristol 0 38,037 38,037
East Midlands 0 34,398 34,398
Glasgow 0 27,921 27,921
Doncaster Sheffield 0 21,724 21,724
Edinburgh 0 17,019 17,019
Cardiff 0 15,448 15,448
Belfast International 0 6,289 6,289
Bournemouth 0 381 381
Source: UK CAA

TUI was the leading airline, followed by Monarch (scheduled), easyJet, Thomas Cook and British Airways.  (Between 2009 and 2011, BA even operated B777-200s from Gatwick.)  This mixture of airlines resulted in a reasonably balanced market: 44% scheduled and 56% charter.  

Rea Sea Holidays was the first to announce the return of package holidays to Sharm El Sheikh.  It’ll use Enter Air on a weekly service from London Gatwick from this December.  As yet, TUI, Jet2, easyJet and BA have said little about Sharm El Sheikh. It’ll be interesting to see which announce it first.


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