RPT-UPDATE 1-Governments move to fly nationals out of Egypt


(For main story on Egypt )

* Indonesia to evacuate more than 6,000

* Chinese, Japanese dispatch planes

* Australia charters jumbo jet to bring home nationals

* Some foreign companies fly out expatriate staff (Repeats to fix spelling error in paragraph one. Adds detail from Australia, Indonesia, China)

By Chris Buckley and Olivia Rondonuwu

BEIJING/JAKARTA, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Asian countries took steps on Monday to whisk their nationals out of Egypt, marshalling aircraft to dispatch to Cairo 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 taken by the military. Protesters camped out in a central square overnight and called for a general strike on Monday.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announced plans to send several aircraft to pick up 6,149 nationals -- 70 percent of them students.

"We are mobilising commercial planes, both Garuda and non-Garuda," he told reporters, referring to Indonesia's national carrier. "The planes will leave as early as tonight.

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 said by telephone.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said her government had chartered a Qantas Airlways Boeing 747 to be sent to Cairo on Wednesday to ferry trapped nationals to London or Frankfurt. More aircraft would be chartered if required.

About 1,100 Australians are registered with the Cairo embassy, although another 2,000 may be in the country.

"There is significant pressure on commercial flights," Gillard said.

Both Jakarta and Canberra issued travel advisories warning against travel to Egypt as did the Netherlands.

Germany's travel warning, like Britain's, singled out hotspots Cairo, Alexandria and Suez -- though it described the situation at Red Sea tourist destinations as calm for now.

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.

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.

The U.S. State Department moved to reduce diplomatic staff in Egypt, authorising the voluntary departure of diplomats and non-essential workers.

German national carrier Lufthansa said it had two 350-seater aircraft on the way to Egypt, one of which was an additional flight to bring back stranded people.

U.S.-based Delta Air Lines said on Friday it was suspending its service to Cairo indefinitely.

The Anatolian news agency, quoting Turkey's embassy in Cairo, said on Sunday a sixth plane had been requested to meet high demand. With that, a total of 1,200 Turks will have been evacuated from 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.


But Russian and German tourists at Red Sea resorts have made no move to cut short their holidays.

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 flights.

Chinese nationals returning home from seaside holidays said they were confronted by furious protesters on arrival in Cairo.

"As soon as we entered Cairo at about 6 p.m., our bus was surrounded and smashed up," Liu Hongwei told Reuters Television at Shanghai's Pudong airport.

"We just lay flat on the pavement ... We hid in a hotel beside the road and called the number of the Chinese embassy. But we could not get through. There was just no one to help us."

Fellow tourist Qian Jingheng described Cairo airport as "more chaotic than ours during the spring travel festival period. I think their ability to deal with sudden events is not as good as ours".

Egypt's tourism industry, which provides about one in eight jobs in a country beset by 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 falls 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 take out about 60 families of its international staff from Egypt as a safety measure, a source close to the company told Reuters.

The Philippines Foreign Ministry said it was coordinating with Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan and Libya to host Filipino workers if they are moved out of Egypt. They would then be flown home on commercial flights.

The ministry had earlier readied a standby fund of more than $500,000 should evacuation prove necessary for 6,600 Filipinos in the country -- half domestic helpers, the rest professionals.

Thailand advised its 2,600 nationals to stay put.

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.

Europe's largest tour operator TUI AG and rival Thomas Cook said they were cancelling flights to Luxor and continued to suspend day trips to Cairo from Red Sea resorts.

They said the situation at the resorts remained calm.

TUI's German travel division also recommended customers reconsider any Egypt holiday plans.

Several travel industry stocks -- Air France , Lufthansa, TUI AG, TUI Travel, International Consolidated Airlines Group , and Thomas Cook Group fell 2.7-5.8 percent compared with smaller index falls. (Additional reporting by international bureaux; Writing by Ron Popeski; Editing by Robert Birsel) (Asia desk, Singapore ronald.popeski@thomsonreuters.com +65 6870 3815)



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