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Ethiopian Airlines Co-Pilot Hijacks Plane, Lands In Switzerland Seeking Asylum

An Ethiopian Airlines flight heading for Italy took an unexpected turn when the co-pilot hijacked the plane and then routed it to Switzerland. Once he landed the plane in Geneva, he requested the Swiss authorities to grant him asylum.


Ethiopian Airlines

The whole episode started when the main pilot left his seat to go to the bathroom. At this point, the co-pilot locked the cockpit door and flew past Italy, which was the official destination of the flight. He then flew another 400 miles to Geneva in Switzerland.

The plane circled quite a few times above the city and then finally landed at Geneva International Airport. While it hasn’t been officially confirmed that the said co-pilot hijacked the plane to seek asylum, Matthew Keys has uploaded an audio recording between the co-pilot and Swiss authorities. The recording does divulge that the co-pilot was seeking asylum, although at this point its hard to determine its authenticity.

Once the plane had landed, the co-pilot continued to communicate with the airport officials. The talks eventually culminated in the co-pilot going out of the plane through a window, using a rope. As soon as he left the plane, he surrendered to the police and is currently in custody.

Thankfully, none of the passengers were hurt in the unusual incident and the Swiss police has confirmed that ‘there was no risk to crew or passengers at any time.’ Meanwhile, Ethiopian Airlines has released a press release fervently apologizing to its customers and saying that it’s trying to remedy the situation urgently by ‘making immediate arrangements to fly its esteemed customers on-board the flight to their intended destinations.’

Source: Reuters/Matthew Keys

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