Red Sea Holidays boss Andrew Grant says he “fully expects Egypt to bounce back” following the coronavirus crisis, with Sharm el Sheikh ready to welcome British tourists once again.
Grant on Friday (20 March) spoke of the operator’s efforts to repatriate hundreds of clients against the clock after Egyptian authorities ordered all flights be suspended by midday on Thursday (19 March).
The operator said it took “prompt action” to secure the aircraft necessary to stage its repatriation effort and was able to bring home “almost all” of its clients by the midday deadline on Thursday, adding a small number remained in Egypt and would return “in the coming days”.
“Chartering aircraft at such short notice was quite a challenge,” said Grant, Red Sea Holidays managing director. “We were aware that the coronavirus crisis could affect travel and had well-rehearsed contingency plans in place, but it was still surprising to see just how quickly events have unfolded.
“I’d like to thank all our staff, partners, and especially our clients, for helping to ensure a safe and smooth return.”
Looking ahead, Grant said while the operator would likely miss out on what was set to have been “a bumper summer season” following the restoration of flights to Sharm el Skeikh, he was confidence the country would bounce back.
“We saw a huge jump in demand for our Egyptian holidays when Sharm el Sheikh went back on sale [in December]”, said Grant. “The combination of guaranteed sunshine, great hotels and very competitive prices really appeals to the UK market.
“I fully expect demand to bounce back once flights are restored.”