(For main story on Egypt: nLDE70U00B)
* Chartered Chinese, Japanese aircraft bring out nationals
* U.S., Turkey offer to evacuate citizens
* Some foreign companies fly out expatriate staff
* Russian, German tourists on Red Sea continue holidays
By Chris Buckley
BEIJING, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Governments took steps on Monday
to whisk their nationals out of Egypt on chartered or scheduled
aircraft as demonstrators pressed their mass campaign to topple
President Hosni Mubarak.
More than 100 people have died in six days of unrest aimed
at ending Mubarak's 30-year-old rule, with the outcome appearing
to depend greatly on whatever steps are to be taken by the
military. Protesters called for a general strike on Monday.
Two Chinese airlines, Air China and Hainan Air, said they
would each send a chartered flight to Cairo on Monday to bring
home Chinese citizens. There were at least 500 Chinese nationals
stuck at Cairo's international airport, a Chinese consular
official in Cairo told Reuters by telephone.
Japan's Foreign Ministry said chartered aircraft would fly
out about 500 citizens stranded at Cairo airport, to Rome. But
the exact number was unclear as Kyodo news agency said 335
evacuees had boarded an Egyptair flight to Japan overnight.
The United States and Turkey offered to evacuate their
nationals and major airlines, including Lufthansa and Air
India, pledged to send more planes to Cairo and Alexandria.
The Greek foreign ministry said at least two Greek military
aircraft were on standby. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki
dispatched a plane to Egypt to pick up Iraqi citizens.
Germany's foreign ministry issued a travel warning late on
Sunday -- singling out hotspots Cairo, Alexandria and Suez --
though it described the situation at Red Sea tourist
destinations as calm for the moment.
Other countries advised their citizens to leave Egypt or
avoid traveling to major cities, although Russian and
German tourists at Red Sea resorts have made no move to cut
short their holidays.
Britain recommended its citizens leave the three centres
"where it is safe to do so." The U.S. State Department moved to
reduce diplomatic staff in Egypt, authorising the voluntary
departure of diplomats and nonessential workers.
Some European and Asian companies started evacuating staff.
Witnesses reported scenes of chaos at Cairo Airport, with
many people, including Egyptians, scrambling to get on a
decreasing number of operational flights.
U.S.-based Delta Air Lines Inc, for instance, said on Friday
it was suspending its service into Cairo indefinitely.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs
Janice Jacobs said U.S.-government sponsored flights would be
leaving Cairo on Monday.
"Those will begin tomorrow and then they will be ongoing
until we are able to get all Americans who are not able to get
out via commercial airlines," she told CNN.
KEY TOURIST INDUSTRY
Egypt's tourism industry, which provides about one in eight
jobs in a country beset by high unemployment, took a hit in 1997
when gunmen killed 58 tourists and four Egyptians at an ancient
temple in Luxor, and after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
But decreases in tourist levels have previously been
temporary, and the trend has been broadly upward for a decade.
Two Japanese firms shut down operations -- Nissan Motor Co.
at a small plant in Giza, near the capital, and a
subsidiary in the Cairo suburbs of drugmaker Otsuka Holdings
Some Korean companies pulled back their nationals, though
only a handful of Koreans were working in the country.
Oil company Royal Dutch Shell planned to evacuate
about 60 families of its international staff from Egypt as a
safety measure, a source close to the company told Reuters.
In Cairo's residential area, two buses stood outside the
offices of the Italian oil company ENI to evacuate families. One
foreign employee said his wife and three children would go but
he would stay. There was no immediate comment from ENI.
"It's not an issue during the day, it's at night when we
don't know what will happen," the employee said.
The Philippines foreign ministry readied a 25 million pesos
($567,000) standby emergency fund for the evacuation of about
6,600 Filipinos if necessary, while Thailand advised some 2,600
Thais in the country to stay put.
"They have been asked to stay indoors with food and water in
case of an emergency," Thai ministry spokesman Thani Thongpakdi
said, adding there was no need for an evacuation at this point.
The wealthy Asian sultanate of Brunei moved its 86 nationals
in the country -- students and their families -- into its Cairo
embassy, the Brunei embassy to the Borneo Bulletin newspaper.
In Baku, an Azeri Foreign Ministry spokesman said an
accountant at the Azeri Embassy was killed in street clashes
late on Saturday on his way home from work. Plans called for the
evacuation of about 70 Azeris studying in Egypt.
Most of the estimated 40,000 Russians vacationing in Egypt
have no plans to cut short their trips despite the protests, the
acting head of the Russian Federal Tourism Agency, Alexander
Radkov, told Interfax news agency on Saturday.
"On the whole, the situation in Egyptian resorts remains
calm ... People do not want to interrupt their holiday," he
Tour operator TUI Deutschland reportted no increase in
cancellations and rebookings to the Red Sea coast and Thomas
Cook flew in a fresh batch of tourists from Germany on Sunday.
But Belgian travel agency Jetair, owned by TUI Travel, said
on its website it was working on an evacuation plan due to start
on Monday. Belgian media said about 1,700 tourists were
involved. The company was not immediately available for comment.
($1=44.10 Philippine Peso) (Additional reporting by
international bureaux; Writing by Ron Popeski; Editing by
(Asia desk, Singapore [email protected] +65
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