UPDATE: British attempts to return tourists from Egypt thrown into chaos

British attempts to return thousands of tourists stranded in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh were thrown into chaos on Friday when the easyJet airline said it had been refused permission to fly some of its planes to Egypt.
Prime Minister David Cameron halted flights to and from the Egyptian resort on concerns that a bomb planted by Islamic State militants downed a Russian airplane which had left the same airport on October 31, killing all 224 people on board.
But Britain, which has about 20,000 of its tourists in Sharm el-Sheikh, was planning to return them from the resort on Friday. They were due to travel only with hand luggage due to security concerns.
easyJet said just two of its 10 planned flights had been given permission to fly out of Egypt. Other airlines said their flights would go ahead.
Egypt's civil aviation ministry denied it was blocking any flights but said the numbers were limited by airport capacity.
"The situation for UK flights in Sharm el-Sheikh remains fluid. We are being advised that the Egyptian authorities will allow a restricted number of UK flights," easyJet said.
"We are working with the UK Government at the highest level on a solution," it added in a statement.
Britain's public airing of its concerns about a bomb being responsible for the Russian air crash angered Egypt, which depends on tourism revenue, and drew criticism from the Kremlin, which said it had not been given details of the intelligence behind Britain's move.
Thomas Cook Airlines, easyJet, privately-held Monarch, British Airways and Thomson operate direct flights between Britain and Sharm al-Sheikh.
Monarch said all of its five planned flights from the resort would leave on Friday. British Airways said its one planned flight would go ahead.
A Sinai-based group affiliated with Islamic State, the militants who have seized swathes of Iraq and Syria, has claimed responsibility for the crash, which, if confirmed, would make it the jihadist organisation's first attack on civil aviation.
In his first public comments on the disaster, US President Barack Obama said in a radio interview: "There's a possibility that there was a bomb on board. And we're taking that very seriously."

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