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Some flights cancelled to Egypt, others half-empty

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AYA BATRAWY | July 29, 2013 02:53 PM EST | AP


CAIRO — Cairo airport officials say seven flights to Egypt have been cancelled and that others are arriving with less than 50 percent occupancy following weekend clashes that killed 84 people.

Passengers from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Italy as well as Syria and Lebanon were rerouted Monday onto other planes because of low seat occupancy.

Fewer passengers are coming from Damascus and Beirut because Syrians escaping the war in their country now need visas for Egypt following changes to security rules.

Officials say that more than 55 percent of seats on flights to Cairo have been empty over the past three days. They spoke anonymously as they weren't allowed to brief the media.

Political turmoil over the past 2 1/2 years has hurt tourism in Egypt, weakening the country's economy.