Yesterday I flew back from Egypt just hours before the Russian plane crash. My thoughts are with not only those who lost people who were on the plane, but also with the Red Sea dive operators.

The dive operators, hotels and restaurants in the northern Sinai, in Dahab and Nuweiba, are already struggling as many European countries have advised their citizens to avoid “non-essential” travel there. After this tragic crash things can only get worse for them.

The men who work in the hotels, dive centres and restaurants – and the vast majority are men – are from all over Egypt and spend months away from their families. School teachers work as receptionists because they can earn more money that way.

It is not yet known whether the crash was a result of terrorist activity or a fatal problem with the plane. One can only hope, not only for the sake of the Red Sea tourism industry in Egypt but also for the peace of mind of all the divers and tourists who will be soon be flying back from their holidays – for the latter.


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