CAIRO, Jan 30 (Reuters) - The United States said on Sunday it was offering evacuation flights to Europe for U.S. citizens who wish to leave Egypt, which has been rocked by violent protests seeking an end to President Hosni Mubarak's rule.
"The U.S. Embassy in Cairo informs U.S. citizens in Egypt who wish to depart that the Department of State is making arrangements to provide transportation to safehaven locations in Europe," the statement said.
"Flights to evacuation points will begin departing Egypt on Monday, Jan. 31," it said, describing the evacuation as voluntary.
Turkey was also sending two Turkish Airlines planes to Egypt on Sunday to evacuate is citizens, state-run Anatolian news agency quoted embassy officials in Cairo as saying.
European tour operators and airlines have cancelled trips to Cairo since protesters took to the streets, dealing a blow to a tourism industry that provides about one in eight jobs in the country.
Witnesses said businesses were also starting to evacuate their staff and saw scenes of chaos at the airport, where many people, including Egyptians, were trying to get flights out of the country.
In the residential area of Cairo, two big buses were parked outside the offices of the Italian oil firm ENI to evacuate families, witnesses said. One foreign employee of the firm said his wife and three children would go but he would stay. There was no immediate comment from the firm.
"It's not an issue during the day, it's at night when we don't know what will happen," the employee said.
Near the buses was a four-wheel drive with security men. Several foreign families were waiting to board the buses.
© 2015 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.