The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has extended the validity period of its Conflict Zone Information Bulletin (CZIB) on airspace in the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula following Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) earlier in the year.

As per the bulletin issued on November 26 by EASA, the revised CZIB will remain valid until its review on March 30, 2020. The agency continues to advise that flying over the peninsula should be at an altitude of least 25,000 feet (6,620 metres).

The FAA NOTAM on the conflict zone claims that commercial aircraft flying over Sinai are at risk "from potential extremist/militant attacks involving anti-aircraft weapons, including man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS), anti-tank missiles, small arms fire and indirect fire from mortars and rockets targeting aircraft and Sinai airports."

The main airport in this part of Egypt is Sharm el Sheikh. Of the 21 airlines presently operating into Sharm el Sheikh, the top three carriers are EgyptAir (MS, Cairo Int'l) (34% of weekly capacity), Windrose Airlines (7W, Kyiv Boryspil) (17%), and Air Cairo (SM, Cairo Int'l) (8.5%).

The extension of the CZIB by EASA comes at time when numerous carriers and tour operators have announced their respective returns to the Sharm el Sheikh market, including the UK leisure airline TUI Airways (BY, London Luton), which intends to start offering flights from London Gatwick, London Luton, London Stansted, Birmingham Int'l, Bournemouth, East Midlands, Bristol Int'l, Doncaster/Sheffield, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow Int'l, Manchester Int'l, and Newcastle, GB.

Negotiations are also underway to see the return of Russian airlines to Egypt. This month industry authorities plan to inspect the security of the country's airports. Services to Egypt from Russia were stopped after 224 people died in the bombing of MetroJet (Russian Federation) flight 7K 9268, linked to the Islamic State group.