Nearly 10,000 Brits flown home from Sharm el-Sheikh

Nearly 10,000 people have been flown back to the UK from Sharm el-Sheikh following the Russian jet crash.

The Department for Transport said more than 9,600 had been brought home since Friday.

Around 20,000 Britons were at the Egyptian resort when flights were suspended over security fears.

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British tourists boarding easyJet plane

British tourists have been pictured boarding an easyJet plane in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Passengers are re-boarding easyJet flight out of Sharm el-Sheikh Credit: ITV News

It follows confusion over whether the airline's planes would be able to depart the airport for the UK today.

A spoksperson for the airline said: "The situation for UK flights in Sharm el Sheikh remains fluid. We are being advised that the Egyptian authorities will allow a restricted number of UK flights from Sharm el Sheikh today, two of which are easyJet flights."

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UK officials 'working to ensure planned flights leave'

An easyJet plane is reportedly currently loading passengers to return to the UK Credit: ITV News

The UK's Department for Transport has confirmed it is "working with the Egyptian authorities to try to ensure planned flights leave" Sharm el-Sheikh today.

A spokesman for the government department said: "We are urgently working with the Egyptian authorities to try to ensure planned flights leave Sharm today.

"Travellers should keep in contact with their tour operators and shouldn't leave for the airport until they have a confirmed flight. We ask for people's patience at this difficult time."

Thomson and BA flights 'continuing as planned'

Officials from both Thomson and British Airways have confirmed their planned flights out of Sharm el-Sheikh back to the UK will be "continuing as planned".

Passengers are waiting at Sharm el-Sheikh airport hoping to fly back to the UK Credit: ITV News

A Thomson spokesman said: "All Thomson flights out of Sharm el-Sheikh are continuing as planned."

A spokeswoman for BA said: "Our one flight from Sharm later this afternoon is due to depart for Gatwick as planned."

Egyptian aviation ministry denies 'blocking UK planes'

British tourists have been waiting at Sharm el-Sheikh airport ahead of the first flights back to the UK Credit: ITV News

The Egyptian civil aviation ministry has denied that it is "blocking UK planes' from arriving at Sharm el-Sheikh airport and said flights were "limited by airport capacity".

A ministry spokesman told Reuters: "Flying out thousands of people on one day is incredibly hard. Everyone has to go through the procedures.

"We have not cancelled any flights but the airport cannot handle all these planes at once."

easyJet plane flying Brits home 'unloaded' on runway

One of the easyJet planes being unloaded on the runway. Credit: ITV News

One of the easyJet planes due to fly Brits stranded in Sharm el-Sheikh is seemingly being unloaded on the runway.

ITV News Correspondent Dan Rivers tweeted this picture from the airport saying it was a "confusing situation".

It comes after rescue flights sent to bring Brits home were "suspended by Egyptian authorities".

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Monarch: Flights still on way to Sharm el-Sheikh

Monarch airlines has confirmed it currently has flights heading to Sharm el-Sheikh airport to bring stranded British tourists home and said it expects "all our aircraft to depart as planned later today".

Monarch officials said: "As far as we are aware all five of our planes are going to take off as scheduled and we have not heard anything to change that from the Egyptian authorities."

Monarch is set to operate five flights from Sharm el-Sheikh to the UK today Credit: David Jones/PA

It follows reports from easyJet that Egyptian authorities had 'suspended' it sending extra flights in to collect passengers.

Passenger backlog at airport as extra flights 'suspended'

Crowds of British tourists continue to be stranded at Sharm el-Sheikh airport as they await news following reports that Egyptian authorities have suspended UK rescue flights entering the airport.

British tourists were hoping to fly home today Credit: ITV News
Extra flights were due to arrive at Sharm el-Sheikh airport to bring people home Credit: ITV News

Egypt 'suspend' extra flights entering Sharm el-Sheikh

Egyptian authorities have reportedly 'suspended' extra flights headed to the country's Sharm el-Sheikh airport, meaning planes being sent out to bring stranded British tourists home are unable to continue as planned.

EasyJet posted on its website : "Unfortunately the situation in Sharm El Sheikh is very unclear. Our rescue plans that were put in place yesterday have been suspended by the Egyptian authorities.

"Discussions are currently on-going at the highest political level to unblock this situation. We are very sorry and understand that this is extremely frustrating for you – unfortunately the situation is outside of easyJet’s control."

Security at Sharm el-Sheikh airport has been heightened in the last few days Credit: ITV News

The first two planes bringing British tourists home to the UK had already set off from Sharm el-Sheikh before the new restrictions were put in place.

In total 24 flights had been planned for today, 10 operated by easyJet, nine operated by Thomson and five operated by Monarch.

Families among those waiting for flights home

Families are among those waiting at Sharm el-Sheikh airport to board some of the first flights home to the UK.

It follows the lifting of a suspension put in place by the UK government amid fears a bomb may have been behind the downing of a Russian passenger jet last week.

The Stevenson family told ITV News correspondent Dan Rivers they were waiting for a flight to get them home to Brighton.

The Stevenson family want to get back to Brighton Credit: ITV News
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