Hundreds more UK travellers stuck in Egypt

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Hundreds of British holidaymakers stranded in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh were hoping to return home on Saturday after a handful of flights landed in Britain, although others were held up by logistical problems.

Britain suspended flights on Wednesday after saying it feared a bomb may have brought down a Russian jet which crashed after taking off from there last week, killing 224 people, warning about security at the airport.

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Eight flights carrying some 1 400 travellers returned to Britain on Friday after restrictions were lifted but tourists were only allowed to bring carry-on bags. Check-in bags will be flown back later.

On Saturday, easyJet is due to fly two planes back from Sharm el-Sheikh, along with two from Monarch, two from Thomas Cook and one from British Airways.

There were tears of relief as passengers landed in London’s Gatwick airport on Friday after days of delays, although some 2 600 Britons are still stranded at the resort.

“I’m so grateful to be home with my family. I didn’t think we would come back,” Emma Turner, a 34-year-old from Kent in southeast England, said after getting off at easyJet flight.

Nicky Bull, a human resources manager, said passengers were informed of increased security measures around their plane.

“I think a lot of people will question whether they ever want to go to Egypt again,” she said.

“We were told when we got on the plane that the Egyptian army and MI5 had been guarding the plane. There was no way that anybody could get at it.”

Egypt’s civil aviation minister Hossam Kamal said that only eight out of 29 planned flights were leaving due to the requirement that passengers take only their hand luggage.

He said the airport could not accommodate more than 120 tonnes of check-in baggage left behind.

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