Emirates, flydubai stop flying over Sinai peninsula after Russian plane crash

The crash on Saturday killed all the 224 people on board



Dubai airline Emirates has stopped flying over Egypt’s Sinai peninsula after a Russian airplane crashed in the area on Saturday, killing all the 224 people on board.

A company spokesperson said: “Emirates is currently avoiding flying over the Sinai peninsula until more information is available. We are closely monitoring the situation. The safety of our crew and passengers are our top priority.”

Dubai-based flydubai also confirmed that it is circumventing the area. A spokesperson said: “flydubai flights have been re-routed around the Sinai peninsula and we will continue to monitor the situation together with the relevant authorities.”

Air France and Lufthansa have also decided to temporarily avoid flying over the area.

Egyptian authorities are currently investigating the cause of the crash although officials say it is most likely due to a technical fault.

They have dismissed claims from an Egyptian affiliate of militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Levant that it “brought down” the aircraft.

Flight 9268, an Airbus A321 flight operated by Kogalymavia, was mainly carrying Russians from the tourist resort spot Sharm El Sheikh to St. Petersburg.

According to Egypt’s Civil Aviation Ministry, the flight took off at 5:51 am local time and disappeared from radar screens after 23 minutes. It was flying at an altitude of 31,000 feet when it vanished from screens.

Among the 224 killed were 25 children and seven crew members, authorities confirmed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin “expressed his deepest sympathies to the families of those who died in the crash.” The Kremlin also announced Sunday as an official day of mourning for what is the country’s worst air disaster.