While foreign nationals trying to leave Egypt by the thousands, the first aircraft carrying Canadians took off from Cairo Monday around 21 h 30 (14 30 pm ET).
The plane was carrying 174 Canadians and 161 passengers from other countries, under a reciprocity agreement with the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. The four countries agreed earlier in the day for any aircraft chartered by one of them left Egypt without being filled.
Originally planned at 16 am local time (9 pm ET), the takeoff was delayed for reasons that remain unclear.
Travelers argued that the airport authorities have claimed up to their $ 2000. According to the understanding that currently has the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, the amounts required would be linked with excess baggage.
The ministry also called the Canadian nationals to stick to one bag.
Ottawa has claimed to be able to repatriate 600 Canadians during the day. A second plane arrived from Amman, Jordan, should leave the Egyptian capital early Tuesday martin (local time).
Minister Lawrence Cannon says the government is making every effort to evacuate Canadians despite the difficulties due to the chaotic situation in which the country finds itself.
"In an unstable situation, where communications are difficult and have been since the beginning of this uprising, we work in difficult circumstances," said Minister Cannon. "But we are able to reach Canadians and inform them of the time and place of departing flights. "
Mr. Cannon said an agreement was reached with the Australians on the evacuation of Canadians in the port city of Alexandria.
Mr. Cannon said that his department had received 4,900 calls from Canadians in Egypt or their relatives living in Canada. These have often been able to provide details that can help managers to join Canadian nationals.
A little patience
The evacuation was decided because of unrest in the country since last Tuesday.
In an interview Monday on the airwaves Information Network, a Canadian present at the Cairo airport, Christèle Berthelot, confirmed that it was difficult to obtain flight information from the Canadian government (terminal, time , etc..).
Ms. Berthelot explained that the Canadian government will charge him $ 400 for leaving the country. Ottawa announced Sunday that citizens should pay for their flight in accordance with the policy in force at the ministry.
The Canadian government estimates that 6500 Canadians are in Cairo. About 1,200 of them are officially registered with the Canadian Embassy.