Two planes with a total capacity of 575 passengers chartered by the Government of Canada must now take off from Cairo to evacuate Canadian citizens.
The Foreign Minister, Lawrence Cannon, announced Sunday at a press briefing that Canada would repatriate its nationals if they so desire. Under his ministry, there are nearly 6,500 Canadians currently in Egypt.
A first plane could leave the Egyptian capital at 17 pm local time. A second aircraft would take off at 19 pm local time.
Travelers will be brought to London, Paris or Frankfurt, where they must make their own steps to return to Canada. Before their departure, Canadians will have to sign a contract stating that they agree to reimburse the cost of their flight.
"The situation in Egypt is highly unpredictable and some protests have turned violent. For now, there is no indication that Canadians have been injured or killed. However, the government now recommends that Canadians leave Egypt, "said Minister Cannon. Important Phone Numbers
Canadians who want to leave Egypt should contact the Canadian Embassy in Cairo 20-2-27-91-87-00 or by calling the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa by calling collect at 613 996-8885.
Families and friends who wish to obtain more information can contact the ministry at 1 800 606-5499. They can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Earlier this week the department had raised its alert level to the third level of a scale which has four, urging Canadians to "avoid nonessential travel" to Egypt.
The situation is deteriorating. The situation is under control. So it is incumbent upon our government to protect Canadians and ensure they are safe.
- Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Other countries act
Canada follows the lead of several other countries have taken steps to evacuate their nationals from Egypt in the sixth day of a crisis unprecedented popular to unseat President Hosni Mubarak in power.
Sunday, several commercial flights to Egypt or leaving from it were canceled, suspended or delayed because of the curfew imposed by authorities.
The U.S. consular affairs officer, the Assistant Secretary of State Janice Jacobs, announced that the United States were preparing to evacuate their nationals on board charter flights starting Monday.
Ms. Jacobs stated that a voluntary evacuation would take several days, while admitting not knowing the exact number of Americans who want to leave Egypt. These U.S. citizens could be brought to Athens, Greece, Istanbul, Turkey, or Nicosia, Cyprus.
According to an official at the Cairo International Airport, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Jordan have sent a dozen devices to organize the return of their nationals.
The Turkish government has decided to evacuate approximately 750 nationals of Egypt aboard three planes that were to arrive later in the evening.
Azerbaijan, Iraq and Japan have also sent planes to evacuate their nationals.