Ethiopian Airlines Flight 708

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Ethiopian Airlines Flight 708
Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 720B ET-AAH LHR 1982-5-29.png
An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 720 similar to the incident aircraft
Date8 December 1972 (1972-12-08)
SummaryAttempted hijacking
SiteAddis Ababa, Ethiopia
Aircraft typeBoeing 720-060B
OperatorEthiopian Airlines
Flight originHaile Selassie I International Airport
1st stopoverAsmara International Airport
2nd stopoverEllinikon International Airport
3rd stopoverLeonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport
DestinationCharles de Gaulle Airport
Fatalities7 hijackers

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 708 was a Boeing 720-060B, due to operate an international scheduled Addis AbabaAsmaraAthensRomeParis passenger service, that experienced a hijacking attempt on 8 December 1972.[1][2]


Minutes after departing from Haile Selassie I International Airport bound for Paris, when the aircraft was flying at some 29,000 feet (8,800 m),[2] seven members[nb 1] of the Eritrean Liberation Front stood up and tried to gain control of the plane.[1] A hand grenade that was armed by one of the hijackers was rolled down the aisle by a passenger.[3] The grenade exploded in the rear part of the fuselage, some 6 inches (150 mm) off the plane's centreline, blowing a hole in the cabin floor and damaging or severing several controls of the aircraft, including those of throttle of two engines, of the rudder, and of the horizontal stabiliser.[2][3] Despite this, the crew turned back the airplane to the airport of origin and managed to land it safely;[2] it sustained minor damages that were repaired later.[1]

Security guards —there were six of them aboard— opened fire at the terrorists, killing six of the hijackers on board, while the seventh one died in a hospital.[1]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ There exists a discrepancy over the number of men and women in the group that attempted to hijack the aircraft, depending upon the source: five men and two women,[1] or six men and a woman.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e Hijacking description at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 30 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d "No decompression". Flight International: 754. 13 June 1974. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "Mid-air shooting". Flight International: 854. 14 December 1972. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2012.