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  1. ITV Report

Thomas Cook cancels upcoming Sharm el-Sheikh flights and holidays over continuing terror fears

Sharm el-Sheikh has been off-bounds for British tourists since 2015. Credit: AP

Thomas Cook holidays to Sharm el-Sheikh later this year and next summer have been cancelled over continuing terrorism fears.

The company decided to shelve its prearranged flights to and stays in the Egyptian coastal resort for winter 2017/2018 and summer 2018 following Foreign Office travel advice.

Around 300 people with trips to Sharm are affected and have been encouraged to get in touch with Thomas Cook.

A new destination in Egypt has now been announced, as Thomas Cook prepares to take more than double the number of Britons to Egypt this year compared with 2016.

From November, Red Sea resort Marsa Alam will be served twice a week by Thomas Cook, while the operator also intends to add more flights to current destination Hurghada - 100 kilometres from Sharm.

Thomas Cook is offering alternatives and refunds to customers. Credit: PA

Tourist travel to Sharm was suspended in December 2015 after a Russian passenger plane on its way to St Petersburg crashed in North Sinai, killing 224 on-board.

Russian authorities believed the plane was brought down by an explosive on board.

Since then, the Foreign Office has advised against all but essential travel to Sharm.

Marsa Alam is around 230 miles from Sharm el-Sheikh. Credit: Google

Thomas Cook had hoped this advice would change and intended to make a decision this month whether or not to resume flights to the town.

“As long as the flight ban remains in place, the resort is, in effect, closed for British tourists," a Thomas Cook spokesperson said.

"When the advice changes and we can build it into our holiday programme, we look forward to flying customers from the UK to Sharm again so they can enjoy all the resort has to offer."

Thomas Cook will fly to Marsa Alam from November. Credit: PA

Despite concerns over Sharm, Thomas Cook is expecting to fly "double" the amount of UK tourists to Egypt in 2017 compared to 2016, with over 150,000 bookings.

The spokesperson said: "The resort town of Hurghada on the Red Sea Riviera, on the other hand, is growing in popularity, and we've put more flights on for winter and summer 2017 to keep up with demand.

"We have also now extended our winter programme to this area by offering flights and holidays to the resort town of Marsa Alam, further down the Red Sea coastline."

Marsa Alam is located two hours south of Hurghada and is popular with divers and snorklers.

Thomas Cook announced it was proactively contacting people with bookings to Sharm to arrange alternatives.

Customers affected can contact Thomas Cook on 01733 224 536.