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Foreign Secretary hopes stranded tourists can start flying home tomorrow

The Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says that the government are hoping to bring back some tourists stranded in Egypt as early as tomorrow.

Thousands of Brits, including 1,700 customers of Peterborough-based Thomas Cook, are stuck in Sharm el-Sheikh after flights were cancelled amid bomb fears.

Click below to hear from Philip Hammond

"My understanding is that the tour operators have taken people back to hotels overnight and people who are scheduled to fly out today will of course be told not to go to the airport.

We hope by tomorrow we will have in place short-term emergency measures that will provide us with the level of assurance we need to allow flights to go out from the UK empty and bring those people back."

– Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary


  1. National

Sharm news prompts slide in holiday firms' shares

The cancellation of flights to and from Sharm has impacted the share price of holiday companies Credit: PA

Shares in holiday companies Thomas Cook and TUI Group have fallen after the grounding of flights to Sharm el-Shekih, reflecting a likely drop in demand for fights to what is a major holiday destination.

Shares in Thomas Cook fell 5.8 percent while bigger rival TUI lost 1.9 percent, according to Reuters.

Flights from Luton and Stansted to Egyptian resort cancelled amid bomb fears

Credit: PA

Flights due to leave from Luton and Stansted airports tomorrow morning to the Egyptian resort Sharm el Sheikh have been cancelled amid bomb fears.

It's after the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advised against all but essential travel to the resort.

The government is responding to intelligence suggesting that the Russian Plane which crashed after leaving the resort could have been downed by an explosive device.

The 9:40am flight from Stansted Airport to Sharm el Sheikh has been cancelled.

The 10:40am flight from Luton Airport to Sharm el Sheikh has also been cancelled.

Both flights are run by Easy Jet, who released this statement:

We are sorry but unfortunately we have no option but to cancel your flight – with immediate effect, and following the guidance of the UK government, easyJet is suspending all inbound flights to Sharm-El-Sheik. Our contact centres will be open at 08:00hrs (UK time) tomorrow morning to help any customers who are currently booked to fly to Sharm-El-Sheik in the next 14 days. Customers will have a choice to either cancel the flight and receive a full refund or transfer to another available seat within the easyJet network. We are sorry for the inconvenience this will obviously cause, but the situation is beyond our control and passenger safety will always be our number one priority.

– Easy Jet website
Thomas Cook Credit: ITV Anglia

Meanwhile Peterborough travel company Thomas Cook as it still has 1,700 customers in the resort.

It's also cancelled all flights and holidays to Sharm el Sheikh up to and including 12 November 2015.

It's offering the customers still out there and due to fly home free accommodation.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says "emergency procedures" for additional screening and security measures at Sharm el-Sheikh airport will be put in place to ensure holidaymakers will be able to get home - but these won't be in place until Friday at the earliest.

Further to the UK Government’s assessment of the security arrangements in place at Sharm el Sheikh airport, Thomas Cook can confirm that it has been advised of the (FCO) Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s decision to advise against all but essential travel to Sharm el Sheikh with immediate effect.

Thomas Cook is offering customers due to travel to Sharm el Sheikh up to and including Thursday 12 November the opportunity to cancel or re-book their holiday free of charge, offering a £25 discount per person on the alternative holiday booked. Booking conditions are as normal for travel after that date, pending further FCO advice.

Any customers wishing to amend or cancel their booking should visit their local Thomas Cook or The Co-operative Travel store or call our dedicated customer hotline, which will be open from 8am tomorrow, Thursday 5 November.

– Thomas Cook

Record-breaking passenger numbers bring tourism season to a close for Luton Airport

London Luton Airport. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

Luton Airport welcomed a record number of passengers to its terminal last month - up nearly 20% on last year.

September saw 1.2 million people choose to travel through the Bedfordshire airport - 19.2% more than in the same month in 2014 - making it the 18th consecutive month of growth.

Chief executive Nick Barton said the latest figure was proof that the airports £100m expansion plans were need.

"These record passenger numbers demonstrate the increasing popularity of London Luton Airport with travellers. They also highlight the importance of expanding the airport to help meet the capacity needs in the south-east."

– Nick Barton, chief executive, London Luton Airport.

Luton Airport's expansion plans will increase its annual capacity from 12 million passengers to 18 million by 2026, as well as adding extra shops and restaurants, and improving the site's rail links.


Airlines under pressure to help with the cost of training pilots

James Richardson from Cambridge has just started on the Future Pilot Programme. Credit: ITV News

Becoming a pilot is a dream job for many but, at a cost of more than a hundred thousand pounds, it's not easy to turn that dream into reality.

Pilot training is expensive and there's pressure on airlines to do more to help. But if you are thinking about it there are a number of opportunities out there, with one airline running a sponsored training scheme.

ITV News reporter Lauren Hall has been speaking to some of the new recruits from the Anglia region

Luton Airport has busiest summer on record

2.6m passengers passed through Luton Airport in July and August Credit: ITV News Anglia

Luton Airport has had its busiest summer on record. More than two and a half million passengers travelled through the airport in July and August.

It was used by 1.4 million passengers in August alone, a 16% rise on the same period in 2014.

The airport is also investing £100m to increase its annual capacity from 12 million to 18 million by 2026.

“This record-breaking summer has demonstrated the increasing popularity of London Luton Airport and has highlighted the need for expansion in order to meet the demands of our passengers.

"The £100m we are investing will ensure that we are able to give all our passengers a quick, easy and good value service at London Luton.”

– Nick Barton, CEO of London Luton Airport
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