Emirates Halts Flights Over Sinai Peninsula As Islamic State Claims Responsibility For Downed Passenger Jet

Russian Jet
Suliman el-Oteify/Egyptian Prime Minister's Office via AP

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — The latest developments after a Russian passenger plane crashed in a remote part of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula after taking off from a popular Red Sea resort, killing all 224 people on board (all times local).

9:25 a.m.

Dubai-based Emirates, the Middle East’s biggest carrier, says it has stopped flying over Egypt’s Sinai until more is known about the crash of a Russian airliner in the rugged peninsula.

The airline made the announcement Sunday, the day after the crash of the Russian plane, which had taken off 23 minutes earlier from the popular Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh. All 224 people on board died.

The cause of the crash was not yet known. A local affiliate of the extremist Islamic State group claimed it “brought down” the aircraft, but Russia’s transport minister dismissed the claim.

Two major European airlines, Germany’s Lufthansa and Air France, said Saturday that they would immediately stop flying over Sinai for safety reasons until the cause of the crash was determined.