A hijacker seized an EgyptAir plane, Airbus A320, on Tuesday, and diverted it to Larnaca airport in the Mediterranean Resort Island of Cyprus. The plane was headed to Alexandria from Cairo.
EgyptAir has released the following statement on it’s Facebook Page:
An EGYPTAIR official declared that its flight number MS181 heading from HBE Airport (Borg El- Arab Airport in Alexandria) to Cairo Airport was already diverted to Larnaca airport in Cyprus as the aircraft was hijacked. The aircraft is an Airbus A320 with 56 pax onboard in addition to 7 crew members and one EGYPTAIR security member. The aircraft landed safely at Larnaca.
EGYPTAIR confirms that it is following up with the concerned authorities in Cyprus through EGYPTAIR IOCC and negotiations are undergoing with the hijacker.
EGYPTAIR will update you with any news within one hour.
Cyprus police reports that the hijacker contacted the control tower at 8:30 am (05:30 GMT) and the plane was given permission to land at 8:50 am.
After negotiations, the hijacker then allowed the passengers to get off the plane, leaving only the crew and four foreigners on the plane.
The plane diverted to Cyprus after the captain, Omar Jamal, was alerted to the presence of a passenger who was wearing an explosive belt.
The identity of the hijacker is yet to be verified, but according to CNN, an Egyptian presidential spokesman said the correct name of the EgyptAir Flight 181 hijacker is Seif El Din Mustafa, an Egyptian national.
DailyMail also reports that the hijacker brought the plane to Cyprus to see and deliver a letter to his ex-wife.
Photo Credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images