Getting to Sharm El Sheikh
Source: Daniel Stokes, Updated Travel Advice For Sharm El Sheikh 2018
As previously reported, in the wake of the Russian airline disaster in 2015, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued a a travel advisory warning against 'all but essential travel by air to Sharm el Sheikh,' effectively restricting direct flights to and from the UK to Sharm airport. No travel advice was issued against the resort itself which has remained "green" before and since.
As of March 2018, this restriction on direct UK flights remains in place, while many European countries have lifted their restrictions, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Switzerland and Ukraine, as well as other countries outside of Europe such as Turkey and Jordan.
None of the UK tour operators, which previously included easyJet, Thomas Cook and TUI (formerly Thomson) has a timetable for a return to Sharm as they are unable to direct their flights to Sharm while the travel restrictions remain in place. Monarch, also a popular option, went out of business, partly through the loss of Sharm as one of it's most popular destinations.
The resort of Sharm is having to move on without the historically large numbers of Brits and Russians. Many visitors from across Europe and beyond have returned to visit the resort and enjoy its fantastic diving. It could indeed be said that British divers are missing the (diving) boat! If that wasn't enough, the Egyptian Pound offers extremely good value against Sterling. The present value is 24 Egyptian Pounds to £1, so your local food and beer budget will go a very long way while you visit.
Many UK guests have taken alternative routes which may increase the journey time (but also tend to come with larger baggage allowances and better on-board services). There are plenty of routes available, either through Europe, or via Cairo and Hurghada, whose airports are not restricted. Sadly, the ferry between Hurghada and Sharm (La Pespes) is no longer operational.
For those UK divers interested, able and wanting to visit Sharm and its most wonderful dive reefs, which have experienced an unprecedented resurgence during the quiet spell, indirect flights are the only way to return to Sharm's never-ending sunshine and diving, so here's the most comprehensive travel advice available on getting to Sharm.
Getting to Sharm from the UK
Firstly - it's important that you consider the FCO's travel advice before you decide to travel to Sharm. Remember that the advisory is for the flights in and out of the airport only, and not the resort itself (FCO current travel advice for Egypt) Check your current insurance company will cover you if you travel through Sharm airport on an indirect flight. Westfield Sub Aqua & Marine Insurance Services is recommended by a number of visitors. 'We are happy to confirm that we continue to offer insurance for Sharm (including the Airport) and Dahab with our standard policy,' says Managing Director Nick Caldwell.
For the indirect routes, a multitude of options is available, although some are more straightforward than others.
The easiest and best option remains the single airline, direct transfer routes using Egyptair (via Cairo) or Turkish Airways and Pegasus (via Istanbul) to reach Sharm. You and your bags are checked in and transported all the way to Sharm, so the journey is as straightforward as possible. Both offer excellent prices if booked in advance.
- Egyptair from London Heathrow via Cairo www.egyptair.com
- Pegasus from Stansted via Istanbul. www.flypgs.com
- Turkish Airways from Birmingham, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Heathrow and Manchester via Istanbul. www.turkishairlines.com
The second option is to fly via any of the cities that have direct flights to Sharm, although this will involve using separate airlines to get there. Flights to many European destinations can be found quite inexpensively, and from there, direct flights to Sharm are available. Travel planning sites such as Skyscanner or Kiwi can be very useful to find the very cheapest routes.
The final option is to fly via Hurghada, but there are only two flights available each week on Sunday and Tuesday, so it's okay if you're on tour and wish to visit both resorts, but not great if you're on a shorter timescale.
Direct Flights to Sharm
The following is a (possibly complete) list of the cities from which you can fly direct to Sharm in 2018. Note that some flights operate on seasonal timetables.
From Yerevan with Air Cairo. www.flyaircairo.com
From Bruge, Brussels, Charleroi and Ostend with TUI Fly. www.tuifly.be
From Prague with Air Cairo. www.flyaircairo.com
From Billund and Copenhagen with Air Cairo. www.flyaircairo.com
From Berlin, Breman, Dresden, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich and Nürnberg with Germania. www.flygermania.com
From Dresden, Nürnberg, Munich and Dusseldorf with ETI Tour operator. www.eti.de
From Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Leipzig, Munich, Nürnberg and Suttgart with FTI Tour operator. www.fti.de
From Berlin, Bremen, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Leipzig, Munich and Nürnberg, and Stuttgart with TUI Fly. en.tuifly.com
From Dusseldorf and Munich with Air Cairo. www.flyaircairo.com
From Hamburg, Hannover and Munich with Small Planet Airlines. www.smallplanet.aero
From Tbilisi with Air Cairo. www.flyaircairo.com
From Baghdad with Iraq Airways. iaw.gov.iq
From Bologna, Milan, and Verona with Neos. www.neosair.it
From Bergamo, Milan, Rome and Verona with Air Italy. www.airitaly.com
From Bari, Milan, Naples, Rome with Air Cairo. www.flyaircairo.com
From Beirut with Hahn Air. www.hahnair.com
From Vilnius with Small Planet Airlines. www.smallplanet.aero
From Amsterdam with FTI Tour operator. Packages available. www.fti.de
From Oslo with Air Cairo. www.flyaircairo.com
From Katowice and Warsaw with Air Cairo. www.flyaircairo.com
Wide range of tour operators from many locations.