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Easyjet, BA cancel Sharm el-Sheikh flights until 2016

The British airlines join several others that have suspended operations to the Red Sea resort in recent days
An easyJet plane takes off from Sharm el-Sheikh earlier this month (AFP)

Two British airlines have cancelled all flights to and from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh until the new year over security doubts raised by the downing of a Russian jet.

Budget airline easyJet - which had already cancelled outgoing flights up to 25 November - said on Tuesday that it made the move to provide passengers with certainty over Christmas while British Airways (BA) said it had made the decision after discussions with the UK government, BBC reported.

As of Wednesday, easyJet flights are suspended until 6 January and BA flights are cancelled until 14 January.

Other British airlines including Monarch, Thomas Cook and TUI Group, which operates Thomson Airways, have already cancelled flights to Red Sea destination until December in recent days.

Immediately after the Russian plane went down on 31 October in the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board, Britain temporarily suspended flights to Sharm El-Sheikh, a popular destination for British tourists.

Last week, Russia confirmed that the plane was brought down by a bomb, which the Islamic State (IS) group said it had smuggled on board at Sharm el-Sheikh airport.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the attack raised doubts about "the capability of the security on the ground" at the airport.

The British government is advising against all but essential travel by air to or from Sharm el-Sheikh.

On Monday, the US State Department issued a global travel alert and warning Americans of "increased terror threats" in the wake of the 13 November Paris attacks and others in Denmark, Mali, Nigeria and Turkey.

The alert, which expires 24 February, also warned that "the likelihood of terror attacks will continue as members of ISIL/Daesh return from Syria and Iraq," the State Department's statement said, referring to IS.

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