Co-pilot of hijacked Ethiopian Airlines arrested after landing
Newscast Media GENEVA—An Ethiopian Airlines flight hijacked by its co-pilot was
forced to land at Geneva Airport early Monday, before the hijacker turned himself in,
according to Geneva cantonal police.
The 31-year-old Ethiopian man took control of the plane by locking himself in the
cockpit when the pilot left to use the toilet. He then tried to seek asylum in
Switzerland, according to airport officials.
Police spokesperson Eric Grandjean told Xinhua that the co-pilot claimed he was not
safe in his country, adding that the investigation was under way and the arrested
hijacker would be prosecuted. All passengers and crew onboard are safe.
The Boeing 767-300 flight took off from Addis Abba and was bound for Milan via
Rome. It landed at Geneva International Airport at around 6:02 am (0500 GMT) in the
morning, police said.
Xavier Wohlschlag, Chief Operating Officer of Geneva airport, told Xinhua that the
aircraft is being checked by the police, and the passengers would be able to get their
personal belongings and luggage back once the plane was known to be safe.
The airport has now resumed operations and most of the passengers will be able to
head to Italy later today, said the police.
A similar incident occurred at Geneva airport in 1985, when an Air Afrique plane was
hijacked by a Lebanese gunman and one passenger was killed.