According to Al Masry Al Youm, Israel’s national airline El Al announced all flights to Cairo will be cancelled as of January 2007 due to high security costs and low demand on the route. The decision drew strong criticism from People’s Assembly members last week as many said it amounted to it a step back on the peace agreement between Egypt and Israel.
Mohamed Basyouni, head of the Shura Council Arab Affairs and National Security Committee and former Ambassador to Israel, told the newspaper he was informed by the airline the decision was made on economic basis and is not politically motivated.
El Al employs some of the toughest security measures of any airline globally. Although not all measures are disclosed to the public, some include placing as many as six armed, plain-clothed security officers on every flight and passing luggage thorough a decompression chamber to simulate flight conditions incase it contains explosives triggered by a loss in pressure.
On the Egyptian side, Air Sinai, majority-owned by Egypt Air, announced in December it will increase its flights to Tel Aviv from two to three per week due to increased demand, company officials said.