Pilot in Hijacked Ethiopian Jet Reportedly Seeks Asylum in Switzerland, Geneva Airport Reopens
The dust has started to settle around an intense morning in Geneva where, around 6:00 a.m. local time, a hijacked Ethiopian Airlines plane landed. The flight was bound for Rome at the time and had originated in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. The airliner was hijacked by its copilot, an employee of the airline.
Swiss authorities arrested the hijacker and no injuries were reported.
According to a statement given to the media by Robert Deillon, Director of Genève Aéroport and president of the Swiss International Airports Association, the co-pilot locked the captain out of the cockpit during a bathroom break. He then took control of the aircraft. “The pilot went to the toilet and he [the hijacker] locked himself in the cockpit,” Deillon said.
The hijacker was seeking asylum because he felt threatened in his home country, Deillon reported. He didn’t specify the source of the threats. Ethiopia has a spotty record on human rights according to Human Rights Watch.
Geneva Airport was closed for roughly two hours after the hijacked plane landed but has since reopened.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)