Several major Middle Eastern and European airlines are rerouting flights to avoid flying over Egypt’s Sinai region, the site of Saturday’s plane crash that killed all 224 people aboard.
Lufthansa, Air France, and Emirates said they are suspending all flights over the Sinai Peninsula until the cause of the crash is determined. EasyJet reportedly said passengers who no longer want to fly near the area will be offered either an alternative flight or a voucher.
Officials acknowledged today that “an external impact on the plane” caused the Metrojet Airbus to break up mid-air – and not human error or a technical problem. While an Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility for the crash, officials said it was not likely to have been terrorist activity; no air-to-ground missile could possibly have reached that high.
Nonetheless, the crash has heightened security concerns in the region, delivering yet another blow to Egypt’s struggling tourism industry.