July 23, 2019 / 7:29 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-EgyptAir exec says no 'logical reason' for British Airways cancellations to Cairo

(Adds comments from delivery ceremony)

By Eric M. Johnson

EVERETT, Wash., July 23 (Reuters) - An executive of state-owned EgyptAir said on Tuesday that British Airways’ decision to suspend flights to Cairo, the Egyptian capital, for several days was “without a logical reason.”

The vice chairman of EgyptAir Holding Co, Sherif Ezzat Badrous, told reporters at a ceremony marking the delivery of the carrier’s newest Boeing Co 787 Dreamliner that Cairo airport is safe and EgyptAir continues to operate in a “very safe environment.”

British Airways, part of International Airlines Group , suspended flights to Cairo on Saturday for seven days “as a security precaution” as it reviews security at the Cairo airport.

Later on Saturday, Germany’s Lufthansa said it had canceled 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,” Sherif Ezzat Badrous said. “Until now, at this moment, we don’t have any logical reason” for the actions taken by British Airways.

“You can ask them about the true reasons,” he added.

On Sunday, Egypt’s aviation minister, Younis 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 had decided to maintain its service to Cairo after liasing with French and Egyptian authorities, an airline spokesman said in a statement sent to Reuters. Emirates flights were operating to schedule, a spokeswoman said.

The website for Abu Dhabi’s Etihad showed its services were also operating, and a spokesman said the airline was monitoring the security situation in Cairo. (Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Everett, Washington Editing by Leslie Adler)

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