Egyptian army soldiers stand guard next to the luggage and belongings of passengers of the A321 Russian airliner piled up at the site of the crash in Wadi el-Zolmat, a mountainous area in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on November 1, 2015
Egyptian army soldiers stand guard next to the luggage and belongings of passengers of the A321 Russian airliner piled up at the site of the crash in Wadi el-Zolmat, a mountainous area in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on November 1, 2015 © Khaled Desouki - AFP/File
Egyptian army soldiers stand guard next to the luggage and belongings of passengers of the A321 Russian airliner piled up at the site of the crash in Wadi el-Zolmat, a mountainous area in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on November 1, 2015
AFP
Last updated: November 6, 2015

Belgium advises against travel to Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh

Belgium on Thursday advised its citizens against travelling to Sharm el-Sheikh amid concerns over airport security at the Egyptian resort following the crash of a Russian passenger jet.

"We advise Belgians not to travel to Sharm el-Sheikh. We advise against it temporarily while we wait for guarantees on the security of the airport," Foreign Minister Didier Reynders told RTBF television.

"It is advice and we are not banning anyone from travelling to Sharm el-Sheikh. But for now, people should not go there," he added.

Belgium followed France and Britain in advising against travel to the Red Sea resort's airport due to fears the Russian jet was downed by a bomb.

Earlier Belgian airline Jetair said it would send three planes to the Egyptian resort to repatriate tourists, but without their luggage.

After halting a flight that was due to leave Brussels for Sharm el-Sheikh earlier Thursday, Jetair said that three flights due to leave on Friday, Saturday and Sunday would depart, without outbound passengers.

Passengers who were set to be on the return flights from Sharm el-Sheikh to Brussels would "board as normal", Jetair said in a statement.

But there was a caveat.

"An exceptional security measure will apply to these three return flights: no check-in bags will be accepted. Passengers can take a cabin bag which will be subject to extra checks," Jetair said.

"We have not yet had firm guarantees from Sharm el-Sheikh airport that their baggage checks eliminate all security risk."

The airline said it would do "everything possible" to get passengers' bags back.

Tour operator Thomas Cook said earlier that it was continuing flights from Belgium to Sharm el-Sheikh pending government travel advice, but it was not clear what its plans were following Reynders's comments.

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