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British Airways cancels flights to Cairo for 7 days; Lufthansa does the same, for 1 day

Tensions between the US, UK and Iran are growing. After Iran seized a British a tanker.

Posted: Jul 21, 2019 10:35 AM
Updated: Jul 21, 2019 10:39 AM

Originally Published: 20 JUL 19 18:25 ET
Updated: 20 JUL 19 20:46 ET
By Duarte Mendonca and Ralph Ellis, CNN
(CNN) -- British Airways announced Saturday that flights to Cairo were being canceled for seven days "as a precaution to allow for further assessment." The announcement came as the UK Foreign Office warned citizens traveling to Egypt of a "heightened risk of terrorism against aviation."

"There's a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation. Additional security measures are in place for flights departing from Egypt to the UK," the Foreign Office said in its updated travel advisory.

British Airways said the safety and security of its customers and crew were its priority.

"We constantly review our security arrangements at all our airports around the world, and have suspended flights to Cairo for seven days as a precaution to allow for further assessment," the airline said.

The UK Foreign Office said affected passengers should contact the airline.

Lufthansa, Germany's largest airline, said Saturday it also was suspending fights to Cairo, but later said flights would resume on Sunday. A company spokesperson would not comment on what information the airline received that prompted it to cancel Saturday's flights.

In a statement released on its official Facebook page on Saturday, Egypt's Ministry of Civil Aviation said the decision to suspend British Airways flights to Cairo was not "issued by the British Ministry of Transport or the British Foreign Office."

The ministry is in talks with the British Embassy in Egypt regarding the airline's decision, according to the post.

On Friday, the US State Department updated its travel warning for Egypt, citing "the risks of travel to Egypt due to threats from terrorist and violent political opposition groups" and that "terrorist attacks can occur anywhere in the country, including major metropolitan areas."

The UK, US and other countries have issued travel warnings for Egypt, citing ongoing political unrest and the potential for terror attacks.

In 2015, a Russian Metrojet Flight 9268 exploded over Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, killing 224 people on board. Authorities have said it appears a bomb had been placed on board.

While the flight suspensions are not directly related, they come as tensions have escalated in the Middle East over Iran's seizure of a British tanker, a week after Britain seized an Iranian tanker in Gibraltar.

Correction: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of British Airways in the headline, and to clarify details of the cancellations.

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