Egypt A320 near Cairo on Mar 29th 2016, hijack to Larnaca ended peacefully, hijacker arrested

Last Update: March 29, 2016 / 14:19:46 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Mar 29, 2016

Classification
Incident

Airline
Egyptair

Flight number
MS-181

Destination
Cairo, Egypt

Aircraft Registration
SU-GCB

Aircraft Type
Airbus A320

ICAO Type Designator
A320

An Egyptair Airbus A320-200, registration SU-GCB performing flight MS-181 from Alexandria to Cairo (Egypt) with 56 passengers, 7 crew and one security officer, was on approach to Cairo at FL150 about 20nm northwest of the aerodrome when the crew turned the aircraft north, climbed to FL210 and diverted to Larnaca (Cyprus) stating they were hijacked. The aircraft received direct vectors to Larnaca and landed safely in Larnaca about 52 minutes later, however, below required final fuel reserve. 51 passengers disembarked after first negotiations, one more passenger, two cabin crew and the security officer disembarked later. A person evacuated the aircraft through the first officer's cockpit window and the escape rope there, three other people disembarked via the stairs. The hijacker was subsequently arrested, all are safe without injuries.

The aerodrome of Larnaca is currently closed, the aircraft sitting on a remote area of the aerodrome, apparently all doors closed, stairs have been placed at the main door, the main door was opened and a good number of passenges left the aircraft and entered a bus taking them to the terminal.

According to sources inside Egyptair a passenger claiming to wear a bomb belt demanded the aircraft to be diverted to Larnaca, otherwise he would explode the belt.

The airline confirmed the aircraft was hijacked to Larnaca, negotiations with the hijacker are currently going on. The hijacker threatened the crew with a belt and demanded the aircraft to land in Larnaca. The airline later announced that the hijacker agreed to release all occupants but the crew and 4 foreigners. About 15 minutes later the airline confirmed all occupants except crew and 4 foreigners (and hijacker) have disembarked.

Cyprus and Egypt media report the hijacker is a 27 year old Egyptian national married to a Cypriot wife living in Cyprus. The hijacker requested asylum in Cyprus. Those claims were later shot down by Egypt's CAA.

Cyprus' President stated that the hijack was not related to terrorism but to personal motives.

In the early afternoon (local time) Egypt's Civil Aviation Authority reported currently there are 7 people on board of the aircraft: captain, first officer, security officer, 3 foreign passengers and the hijacker. There had been 21 foreigners (non Egyptian Nationals) on board of the aircraft. At this time it is unclear whether the claim of a bomb belt was hoax or a real bomb belt was on board. An investigation is underway of how the hijacker got past the security in Alexandria and on board of the aircraft. The 27 year old person named by media earlier was not the hijacker.

Later Cyprus' and Egypt's Governments released the name of the 27 year old hijacker (unrelated to the earlier name quoted by media) without providing further details. The situation is still ongoing.

In the afternoon the airline reported that there are still 9 people on board of the aircraft: the hijacker, captain, first officer, 3 cabin crew and 3 passengers. A replacement aircraft has been dispatched to Larnaca to pick up the passengers.

Mid afternoon Cyprus' Foreign Ministry reported: "It's over. The hijacker arrested".

The airline confirmed that all passengers of flight MS-181 have been released and the hijacker has been arrested.

Egypt's Civil Aviation Authority subsequently announced that the bomb belt worn by the hijacker was fake.

According to flight plan alternate aerodromes were Sharm el Sheikh, Hurghada and Luxor (Egypt), the aircraft carried 4203kg of fuel on departure, 1358 kg trip fuel (29 minutes), 1672kg diversion fuel (41 minutes), 172kg contingency (5 minutes) and 1001kg required minimum fuel reserve (30 minutes).

Metars Larnaca:
LCLK 290700Z 07006KT 9999 FEW027 17/05 Q1017 NOSIG
LCLK 290630Z 05005KT 020V080 9999 FEW027 17/04 Q1016 NOSIG
LCLK 290600Z VRB02KT 9999 FEW027 16/05 Q1016 NOSIG
LCLK 290530Z 31004KT 9999 FEW030 14/07 Q1016 NOSIG
LCLK 290500Z 31006KT 9999 FEW035 10/05 Q1016 NOSIG
LCLK 290430Z 31005KT 9999 FEW035 09/05 Q1015 NOSIG
LCLK 290400Z 30005KT 9999 FEW035 08/05 Q1015 NOSIG
LCLK 290330Z 30006KT 9999 FEW035 07/04 Q1014 NOSIG
LCLK 290300Z 31006KT 9999 FEW050 08/04 Q1014 NOSIG
LCLK 290230Z 31005KT 9999 FEW050 09/05 Q1014 NOSIG
LCLK 290200Z 34005KT 9999 FEW050 10/04 Q1014 NOSIG

Metars Cairo:
HECA 290600Z 34006KT CAVOK 16/06 Q1021 NOSIG
HECA 290530Z 01003KT CAVOK 16/06 Q1020 NOSIG
HECA 290500Z 01003KT CAVOK 15/06 Q1020 NOSIG
HECA 290430Z 36005KT CAVOK 15/06 Q1020 NOSIG
HECA 290400Z 36002KT CAVOK 14/06 Q1019 NOSIG
HECA 290330Z 36003KT CAVOK 14/07 Q1019 NOSIG
HECA 290300Z 34006KT CAVOK 14/07 Q1019 NOSIG
HECA 290230Z 34005KT CAVOK 14/07 Q1019 NOSIG
HECA 290200Z 33005KT CAVOK 14/07 Q1018 NOSIG
HECA 290130Z 32005KT CAVOK 14/07 Q1018 NOSIG
HECA 290100Z 32007KT CAVOK 15/07 Q1018 NOSIG
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Mar 29, 2016

Classification
Incident

Airline
Egyptair

Flight number
MS-181

Destination
Cairo, Egypt

Aircraft Registration
SU-GCB

Aircraft Type
Airbus A320

ICAO Type Designator
A320

This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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