He said the first flight carrying Malaysians from Cairo, which was earlier scheduled to land at KL International Airport at 5am Friday, would instead land in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Shahlan told Bernama that the change in the plan had to be carried out so that the aircraft could be fully utilised to provide shuttle flights between Jeddah and Cairo, allowing for the evacuation of a bigger number of people.
“All aircraft operated by Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia and the Royal Malaysian Air Force will operate round-the-clock between Jeddah and Cairo.
“We want to take out as many people as possible due to the worsening situation in Egypt,” he said.
Shahlan told Bernama earlier in the morning that the first flight out of Egypt, carrying 309 people including students and those who are pregnant and sick, was scheduled to land at KLIA at 5am Friday.
He said there would be two flights from Cairo to Jeddah on Thursday and 12 more on Friday.
The navy’s Bunga Mas 5 auxiliary ship would take part in the operation on Saturday, he added.
Shahlan appealed to Malaysians in Egypt to be patient and not resorting to any acts of provocation.
“There is no need for any action that could aggravate the situation. The government has pledged to take all Malaysians irrespective of which state they are from. I hope that they can be patient,” he said.
Shahlan is now in Egypt as part of the Malaysian monitoring team led by Deputy Foreign Minister A. Kohilan Pillay.