Ethiopian Airlines Flight 702

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Ethiopian Airlines Flight 702
ET-AMF, the aircraft involved in the incident, at Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris
Hijacking summary
Date 17 February 2014
Summary Hijacked by co-pilot
Site Hijacked over Sudan, forced to land at Geneva
Passengers 193[1]
Crew 9
Injuries (non-fatal) 0
Fatalities 0
Survivors 202 (all)[2]
Aircraft type Boeing 767-3BGER
Operator Ethiopian Airlines
Registration ET-AMF[3]
Flight origin Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, Ethiopia
Stopover Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport, Italy
Destination Malpensa Airport, Italy

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 702 was a scheduled flight from Addis Ababa to Milan via Rome on 17 February 2014. The aircraft, an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 767-300ER, was hijacked by the unarmed co-pilot en route from Addis Ababa to Rome, and landed at Geneva. All 202 passengers and crew were unharmed.

Incident[edit]

Flight 702 was scheduled to depart from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at 00:30 EAT (UTC+3) on 17 February 2014.[4] The aircraft's transponder began to emit squawk 7500—the international code for an aircraft hijacking—while flying north over Sudan.[3] When the pilot exited the cockpit to use the restroom, the co-pilot locked the cockpit door and continued to fly the aircraft.[5] The flight was scheduled to arrive at Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Italy at 04:40 CET (UTC+1), before continuing to Malpensa Airport in Milan, Italy.[4] Instead, the aircraft was flown to Geneva, Switzerland, where the copilot of flight 702 circled several times while communicating with air traffic control at Geneva International Airport while trying to broker political asylum for himself and an assurance that he would not be extradited to Ethiopia.[6][3][5][7]

At 06:02 CET (UTC+1), the airplane landed at Geneva International Airport with about 10 minutes of fuel and the flameout of one engine.[3][5] The co-pilot who had hijacked the aircraft exited by scaling down a rope he threw out of the cockpit window, and walking to police, where he identified himself as the hijacker and was arrested.[5] The airport was shut down immediately following the landing.[8][3] No passengers or crew were injured.[4]

The flight was escorted by Italian Eurofighter and French Mirage fighter jets while traversing their respective airspaces. The Swiss Air Force did not respond because the incident occurred outside normal office hours, which are 08:00–12:00 and 13:30–17:00. According to a Swiss air force spokesman, "Switzerland cannot intervene because its airbases are closed at night and on the weekend...[9] It's a question of budget and staffing."[10] Switzerland relies on neighboring countries to police its airspace outside of regular business hours. The French air force has permission to escort suspicious flights into Swiss airspace, but does not have authority to shoot down an aircraft over Switzerland.[10]

Hijacker[edit]

The hijacker of Flight 702 was Hailemedhin Abera Tegegn, 31, who was the co-pilot of flight 702. After landing the aircraft, he exited the cockpit by scaling down a rope he threw out the cockpit window. He was arrested by Swiss authorities.[5][11] Swiss authorities investigating the hijacking have stated that Tegegn will face charges that could result in a prison sentence of up to 20 years.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lynch, Dennis. "VIDEO: Inside The Plane That Was Hijacked By Its Own Co-Pilot". Business Insider. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "Swiss confirm Ethiopian plane hijack". 17 February 2014 Last updated at C. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Hijacked Ethiopian plane probably flown to Switzerland for asylum". Focus Information Agency. 17 February 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "Ethiopian Airlines flight ET-702 of 17 February 2014". 17 February 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Ethiopian Airlines hijacker was co-pilot". Capital News. AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE. 17 February 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "Ethiopian Airlines hijack: Co-pilot took control of plane". BBC News. 17 February 2014, Last updated at 08:42 UTC. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 
  7. ^ "Hijacker arrested after Ethiopian Airlines flight forced to land in Geneva". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 
  8. ^ BREAKING: Hijacked Ethiopian Airlines Flight 702 From Addis Ababa To Rome Lands In Geneva; Airport Shuts Down, Passengers And Crew Safe, Airline Claims
  9. ^ Published time: February 18, 2014 11:51 (18 February 2014). "Swiss jets not scrambled over hijacked plane because 'airbases closed at night' – RT News". Rt.com. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Swiss fighters grounded during hijacking as outside office hours". news.yahoo.com. AFP. 17 February 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 
  11. ^ Swiss confirm Ethiopian plane hijack, BBC News, 17 February 2014 Last updated at 01:44 ET.
  12. ^ Hjelmgaard, Kim (17 February 2014). "Rome-bound flight hijacked to Geneva". USA Today. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 

External links[edit]