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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

Driver caught on camera 'racing' at 134mph

A driver seen ’racing’ another vehicle at 134mph on the M11 is among 260 people being investigated for a range of motoring offences.

The high-speed incident was caught on a roadside camera on a stretch of the motorway near Stansted Airport.

A total of 127 drivers were detected speeding on the M11, including nine travelling at more than 100mph.

The motorway speed checks were carried out as part of a campaign to tackle motoring offences.

"The incident where two cars were racing at more than 130mph was an appalling example of dangerous driving where innocent motorists were put at risk. We will be able to trace one of the drivers and take him to court where he faces an automatic ban, but the second car was so close that our camera could not record the number plate."

– Adam Pipe, Essex Police


Aircraft noise could be reduced by GPS

Stansted Airport is consulting people living under the flight-path on a new take-off procedure which could reduce the effects of aircraft noise.

The airport's management want to know what people think of the 'Performance Based Navigation' technology, which uses GPS to allow planes taking off to keep to their flight paths more accurately.

Stansted Airport Credit: ITV News Anglia

Results from a trial on two of Stansted's existing departure routes (Clacton 22 and Detling 04) apparently show that 85% fewer people are directly overflown by aircraft using the new procedure.

The airport has been working on the initiative with its consultative committee (STACC), easyJet and NATS (air traffic provider) for more than two years. It is now seeking views from the local community to help shape its final proposal before submitting it to the Civil Aviation Authority for approval.

"We feel the noise and environmental benefits from this project are considerable and urge our local communities to look at the achievements and facts provided in the consultation materials and make their responses accordingly."

– Keith Artus - Software Technologies Applications and Conference Centre (STACC)

Luton Airport has also just started trialling the technology. From this month flights leaving the Bedfordshire airport and heading west will be guided by Area Navigation Technology, known as ARNAV, which draws flights away from more densely populated areas.

Lorry driver charged after fatal M11 horsebox crash

A lorry driver has been charged with causing two deaths by dangerous driving following a multiple-vehicle crash on the M11.

Three cars, a horsebox and a lorry were involved in the crash on the northbound carriageway on May 15 last year.

Geoffrey Mills, aged 53, from Huissen in the Netherlands and his sister Eleanor Mills, aged 45, from Petersfield, in Hampshire, both died when their car was struck by other vehicles.

Two other people were seriously injured.

Roger Sharratt, 50, of Bagots Oak, Staffordshire, was charged on Saturday August 22, with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

He was bailed to appear at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on October 6.

Stansted boost as airport has record July

Stansted airport has record July Credit: ITV News Anglia

Stansted Airport had its busiest July in seven years last month - with more than 2 million passengers travelling through the airport.

That's up by 12.5 % on the same month last year - making it the busiest July since 2008.

“The beginning of the school holidays and our trio of exciting new long-haul flights have played their part in boosting passenger numbers in July, our busiest in seven years. It’s great to see a growing airport and over the last few months we have been growing at double the rate of Heathrow and Gatwick. It’s a real boost for the airport and it’s a great reflection on the East of England region and its economic vibrancy."

– Andrew Harrison, Managing Director
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