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Language: Arabic | Currency: Eygptian pound (E£) | Local time: UTC | Avg. Flight time: 5 hrs
The main international airports in Egypt are Cairo (CAI), Luxor (LXR), Hurghada (HRG), Marsa Alam (RMF), Aswan (ASW) and, to a lesser extent, Borg El Arab (HBE) in Alexandria.
Most flights to the Red Sea resorts are charter flights which are operated by package tour companies. There are currently no flights from the UK to Sharm el-Sheikh following the 2015 terrorist bombing of a Russian passenger plane – if you wish to go to Sharm el-Sheikh, you will need to change planes in another country which does not have such restrictions in place, or make arrangements to arrive by ferry. Always take the FCO’s latest advice into consideration.
Direct flights to Cairo from London Heathrow (LHR) are available with British Airways and EgyptAir, and take five hours and 30 minutes. EasyJet and Thomas Cook Airlines fly direct from London Gatwick (LGW) to Hurghada, while indirect flight options to Hurghada include London Stansted (STN) with Pegasus Airways, stopping in Istanbul, or with Lufthansa which includes a stopover in Munich or Frankfurt. EgyptAir flies from Heathrow to Hurghada and Luxor, with a stop in Cairo.
From Manchester (MAN), direct flights to Hurghada are available with Thomson and Thomas Cook Airlines. Flights to Cairo and Alexandria are available on Turkish Airlines with a stopover in Istanbul. Other airlines offering flights to Cairo include Aegean, Emirates, Etihad and Lufthansa, but these can involve lengthy stops in each airline’s respective home base.
Thomas Cook offers direct charter flights to Hurghada from Birmingham Airport (BHX), but these are seasonal and usually start from November – the flight time is about five hours, 30 minutes. Turkish Airlines offers indirect flights to Hurghada and Alexandria with a stop in Istanbul.
Flights from all other regional airports in the UK are indirect, and will require a stopover, either in London, Europe or the Middle East, depending on which airline you’re flying with.
Traditionally, flight and hotel costs have always been highest in the peak tourist period, which is from December to February. The cheapest bargains are usually found for flights in the summer when temperatures are too high for most people to enjoy.
Political uncertainty and a number of security crises have resulted in low tourist numbers – this means Egypt is now cheaper than it has been in years past, but be sure to check current FCO travel advice before booking your holiday.
British citizens need a visa, which can be obtained on arrival and costs US$25. There are a number of kiosks in airport arrival halls, and you do not need to use any of the agents who offer their services – it’s cheaper to do it yourself.
British passport holders travelling to Sharm el-Sheikh, Dahab, Nuweiba and Taba resorts for up 15 days do not need a visa, and will receive a free entry permission stamp upon arrival. If you intend to travel outside these areas, then you must obtain a visa prior to your travel.
Passports must be valid for a minimum of six months from the date of your entry into Egypt.