Friday, February 4, 2011

US Embassy Egypt: Evacuation Flight On for Feb 5, Additional USG Flights After Unlikely

A new warden message from US Embassy Cairo:

The U.S. Embassy will be open on Saturday, February 5 from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. for U.S. citizens who need consular assistance.

A U.S. government-chartered evacuation flight will depart Cairo on Saturday, February 5. The exact departure time of the flight is not yet known but registration of those wishing to travel on the flight will begin mid-morning February 5. U.S. citizen travelers wishing to depart should proceed to Terminal 1, Hall 4 (known locally as the Hajj Terminal) after curfew is lifted. Further delay is not advisable. Given the current wide availability of commercial flights, the prospect of additional U.S. government flights after Saturday is unlikely.

U.S. citizens who wish depart Egypt for return to the United States but are having difficulty accessing funds, should contact the Embassy for assistance. Commercial airlines report that they have plenty of seats available on flights departing from Cairo. Travelers with the means to do so should make every effort to utilize commercial flights, as there are a very limited number of seats available on U.S. Government charter flights and no guarantees that there will be future charters.

U.S. citizens requesting evacuation must sign paperwork promising to reimburse the U.S. Government for flight costs at a later date. Exact flight costs are not yet available, but will be comparable to a one-way commercial flight from Egypt to the safe haven location on the date of travel. U.S. citizens who travel on U.S. government–arranged transport will be expected to make their own onward travel plans from safe haven locations in Europe, including: Larnaca, Cyprus; Istanbul, Turkey; Frankfurt, Germany; and Athens, Greece. There will be a limited number of seats available on any future evacuation flights. Priority will be given to persons with medical emergencies or severe medical conditions.

Read the whole message here

In a related note, US Embassy Cairo also issued a statement about that alleged diplomatic vehicle which plowed into a crowd of protesters:

"We have seen a video that alleges a U.S. diplomatic vehicle was involved in a hit-and-run incident that injured dozens in Cairo. We are certain that no embassy employees or diplomats were involved in this incident. On January 28, however, a number of our U.S. Embassy vehicles were stolen.  Since these vehicles were stolen, we have heard reports of their use in violent and criminal acts.  If true, we deplore these acts and the perpetrators."

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