An EgyptAir aircraft which was hijacked and had raised fears of the repeat of the horror 9/11 attacks of 2001 in New York, landed at the Larnaca airport in Cyprus, BBC reported. The Egypt Air plane was flying from the Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria to the capital, Cairo when it was hijacked. The Airbus was diverted to Cyprus, where it landed at Larnaca airport on the south coast.
“Our flight MS181 is officially hijacked,” EgyptAir confirmed in a tweet. According to Egypt media, 10 American citizens and eight people from Britain are on board the hijacked plane.
The hijacker asked for the flight to land in Cyprus, an EgyptAir spokesperson said. The flight, an Airbus 320, has about 80 people on board.
Egyptian civil aviation sources and police confirmed the hijacking and said one man was involved.
The hijackers contacted the control tower at 8:30 am (0530 GMT) and the plane was given permission to land at 8:50 am, police said.
The person who hijacked an EgyptAir domestic flight from Alexandria to Cairo has yet to make any demands, a Cypriot foreign ministry official said .
“The information we have so far is that it is one hijacker. The person has yet to make any demands,” Foreign Ministry Permanent Secretary Alexandros Zenon told French iTele television, adding that the hijacker had indicated he was willing to release a number of hostages.
Passengers on the hijacked plane included eight Britons, ten Americans, according to airport security sources.
According to media reports coming in, all passengers except four foreigners and cabin crew have been freed by the said identified hijacker. The hijacker is an Egyptian national and named as Ibrahim Samaha. ( IANS and agencies)