Finnish travel agencies have begun evacuating tourists from Egypt and cancelling scheduled flights as the country’s Foreign Ministry advises against all unnecessary travel. It was announced on Sunday (January 30) that despite previously being unaffected, the political unrest seen in major Egyptian cities is now spreading to popular tourist resorts along the Red Sea.
Anti government protesters are demanding that President Hosni Mubarak stand down after 30 years in power. In the lasted developments, police have been ordered back onto the streets of Cairo after demonstrators defied a curfew and called for a general strike.
Finnish travel agency Aurinkomatkat is busy evacuating around 400 clients from Sharm-el-Sheikh and Hurghada and has temporarily suspended all of its tours. Two planes will be dispatched by Finnair to pick up the stranded holidaymakers.
Lomamatkat also cancelled the holidays of 150 Finns who were expecting to fly to Hughanda on Sunday, and brought another 190 home who were already in the country. According to the company’s CEO, Mikko Pietarinen, travel agencies are expecting a more tightly-worded advisory about travel to Egypt from the Finnish Foreign Ministry this week.
It is estimated that around 3,500 Finns are currently on holiday in the country with a further 200 living there as expats. Cairo’s Finnish Embassy is asking independent travellers to register their presence in the country and all resident Finns to update their contact information.