The loss of EgyptAir flight MS804 is another blow for Egypt’s tourism industry, a cornerstone of the country’s economy, and it comes at a time of heightened security concerns for the travel industry.
However passengers boarding the next EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo insisted it did not make sense to cancel their trips.
One of them, business traveller Salama Kordeya, explained: “I think we have to go back to our country whatever the conditions. If we don’t travel today, we’ll travel next week, we will travel next month, but in the end we will go back.”
Tourist Jean-Luc Leborgne, a frequent visitor to Egypt, said: “We were upset. As you know Sharm El-Sheik’s hotels were already 80 percent closed, so life is reduced to almost nothing there but, despite this morning’s events, we still decided to go.”
But many others are not going – shown by Egypt’s slumping tourism revenue which was down by two thirds between January and March compared with the same period last year.
Bookings fall for Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia
One of the biggest travel firms – Thomas Cook – on Thursday said more holidaymakers are spurning Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia, heading instead for the western Mediterranean, particularly Spain.
Following UK government guidance it stopped flying to Sharm el-Sheikh and Tunisia.
As a result its bookings were down five percent for this summer and its shares fell 19 percent on Thursday after the British-based company that full-year profit would now be at the bottom end of market forecasts.
Thomas Cook said bookings to Turkey have not recovered after an attack on tourists in Istanbul in January which were followed by bombings there and in Ankara.
Last year Turkey was its second most popular destination accounting for 23 per cent of bookings, but that has now fallen to five percent.