The UK has said it would push for higher airport security checks for planes flying to and from regions where the Islamic State terror group was known to be operating even if it meant extra delays for passengers.
The shake-up in security involving additional hand-luggage checks and stricter screening processes for airport staff comes after Egypt said it was almost certain that it was a bomb that brought down a Russian jet over the Sinai desert.
“If this turns out to be a device planted by an (Islamic State) operative or somebody inspired by it, then clearly we will have to look again at the level of security we expect to see in airports in areas where [ISIS] is active,” UK foreign secretary Philip Hammond said.
“What we have got to do is ensure that airport security everywhere is at the level of the best and that airport security reflects the local conditions, and where there is a higher local threat level that will mean higher levels of security are required. That may mean additional costs. It may mean additional delays at airports as people check in,” the senior British minister said.
Egyptian aviation authorities have said that they were “90 per cent certain” that a bomb had caused the airliner to crash en-route to St Petersburg on October 31, killing all 224 people on board.
Stranded British tourists in Sharm el-Sheikh were told yesterday that they would be waiting for two or three days before returning home.
There was frustration at the resort’s airport, with a logjam of about 3,000 British passengers waiting to be repatriated while Russian tourists were fast-tracked home.