The Red Sea was once a very popular holiday destination with UK holidaymakers, but after the UK suspended all flights to Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt following a suspected terrorist attack, numbers to the coastal region declined.
Today, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel by air to or from Sharm el Sheikh.
However, UK tourists hoping to enjoy the sun in the autumn and winter of 2018 can still travel to the Red Sea thanks to flights offered by easyJet and Wizz Air.
EasyJet will launch the first nonstop scheduled link from the UK to Aqaba in Jordan from 10 November.
Aqaba’s beach resorts are popular for windsurfing and other water sports. The area is a top destination for scuba divers, with notable dive sites including a coral reef.
The route to Jordan will be offered once a week and will provide links to the ancient city of Petra, 80 miles to the north-east, and the desert landscaped of Wadi Rum, 40 miles to the east.
Jordan’s minister of tourism and antiquities, Lina Annab, told The Independent: “This collaboration will contribute towards increasing the number of tourists to Jordan’s ‘Golden Triangle’ – Aqaba, Petra and Wadi Rum – and we’re working together to increase the number of routes into Aqaba with easyJet over the next few years.”
Meanwhile, Wizz Air will let Britons head to Israel from 28 October with flights to Eilat twice a week.
Fares start from £26.99 one way including all taxes, non-optional charges and cabin bag.
Eilat’s beaches are famous for their calm, turquoise waters and offer impressive coral reefs which have not yet suffered from bleaching.
Visitors to Eilat will be able to make the most of day-trips to the Dead Sea.
Yariv Lenin, Israel’s minister of tourism, told The Telegraph: “We are delighted that Wizz Air has decided to launch a second route from the UK. This is a very exciting time to travel to Israel.”
Egypt has requested the British government lift the ban on British airlines flying to Sharm El Sheikh, but this has yet to be granted.
Nevertheless, 2018 is proving a better year for Egypt as more Britons show interest in travelling there.
Both Egypt and Tunsia are experiencing booking booms, tour operator Thomas Cook has revealed, with more bookings in 2018 than in previous years.
Turkey is another country which is returning in popularity, despite the high chance of terror attacks.
Last month, new figures revealed that Turkey was the third most popular holiday spot in Europe.
Straddling eastern Europe and western Asia, Turkey is in the five most booked destinations by 11 countries for tour company TUI, their statistics show.
It won third place in the overall European rankings after popular UK tourist destinations Spain and Greece.
TUI’s statistics for Turkey are backed up by Club Med who have reported a 94 per cent uplift in sales this summer.
British tourists travelling to Turkey do still need to be careful, however, as terrorist attacks are classed as “very likely” in the country by the UK Foreign Office.