The Reporter (Addis Ababa)

17 February 2014

Ethiopia: Breaking News - Ethiopian Airlines Hijacker Arrested

Photo: The Ethiopian
Ethiopian Airlines.

A hijacker who forced a Rome-bound Ethiopian Airlines ET 702 flight to land in Geneva, Switzerland, has been arrested. Ethiopian Airlines flight 702 departed from Addis Ababa at 12.30 a.m., and was supposed to land in Rome at 4.40am (local time).

As the plane was flying over Sudan it reportedly began broadcasting a 7500 alert call -- which is airline code for a hijacking according to airlinereporter.com. Images from the FlightRadar website showed the plane circling around Geneva, Switzerland, where it reportedly ran low on fuel.

The plane landed at Geneva airport at 6.10am local time. The unusual flight path the hijacked aircraft took prior to its safe landing. Image - Flightradar24 State Police Officer John Phillipe Brandt said the highjacker had been arrested and all passengers were safe.

Geneva airport was closed to all flights during the incident and remains closed. A press release issued by Ethiopian Airlines online (and since deleted) said the plane had landed safely at Geneva. "Ethiopian Airlines flight 702 on scheduled service departing from Addis Ababa at 00:30 (local time) scheduled to arrive in Rome at 04:40 (local time) was forced to proceed to Geneva Airport," the statement read.

"Accordingly, the flight has landed safely at Geneva Airport. All passengers and crew are safe at Geneva Airport. "Ethiopian Airlines is making immediate arrangements to fly its esteemed customers on-board the flight to their intended destinations."

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