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Dutch Airline Reverses Decision Barring Crew Members From Staying Overnight in Egypt

Dutch Airline Reverses Decision Barring Crew Members From Staying Overnight in Egypt

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Dutch airline Transavia has reversed its decision to stop over in Athens on flights to Egypt. Starting last week, the company suddenly started making stopovers in Athens to switch crew so the original crew members wouldn’t have to stay overnight in Egypt. The airline cited “safety concerns” for their personnel as a reason for the stopovers.

“We still won’t let our crew stay overnight in Hurghada but we will fly with extra staff onboard so pilots and cabin crew can switch shifts in accordance with the legal working hours and rest periods,” a spokesperson for the airline told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

The new measure delayed flights for a few hours on their way back from Egypt and caused outrage among the airline’s passengers. The company was also criticized by tour operators for their double standards regarding safety of crew and passengers.

“We are pleased that our customers no longer experience delays on these flights but we still think it is rather strange that Transavia happily takes holidaymakers to Egypt, while it considers the country too dangerous for its own staff, “a spokeswoman for Thomas Cook said.

The Dutch government currently advises against travel to the Northern half of the Sinai, around cities such as Al-Arish, Suez and Taba, but for popular tourist destinations such as Sharm el-Sheikh, Hurghada, Luxor, Aswan and Cairo only a warning for ‘safety risks’ is in place.

Transavia is a Dutch low-cost airline and a wholly owned subsidiary of Air France-KLM.

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@estermeerman

Ester Meerman is an independent journalist who has been reporting from Egypt since January 2011.

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