Police officers help a passenger disembark the hijacked Ethiopian Airlines Flight 702 at Geneva International Airport on Feb. 17, 2014. (Xinhua)
GENEVA, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- An Ethiopian Airlines flight hijacked by its co-pilot was forced to land at Geneva Airport early Monday, before the hijacker turned himself in, according to Geneva cantonal police.
The 31-year-old Ethiopian man took control of the plane by locking himself in the cockpit when the pilot left to use the toilet. He then tried to seek asylum in Switzerland, according to airport officials.
Police spokesperson Eric Grandjean told Xinhua that the co-pilot claimed he was not safe in his country, adding that the investigation was under way and the arrested hijacker would be prosecuted. All passengers and crew onboard are safe.
The Boeing 767-300 flight took off from Addis Abba and was bound for Milan via Rome. It landed at Geneva International Airport at around 6:02 am (0500 GMT) in the morning, police said.
Xavier Wohlschlag, Chief Operating Officer of Geneva airport, told Xinhua that the aircraft is being checked by the police, and the passengers would be able to get their personal belongings and luggage back once the plane was known to be safe.
The airport has now resumed operations and most of the passengers would be able to head to Italy later today, said the police.
A similar incident occurred in Geneva airport in 1985, when an Air Afrique plane was hijacked by a Lebanese gunman and one passenger was killed.
GENEVA, Feb 17 (Xinhua) -- The hijacker of an Ethiopian Airlines flight bound for Rome but diverted to Geneva early Monday has been detained and the passengers and crew onboard are safe, according to Geneva airport police. Full story
GENEVA, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- A hijacked Ethiopian Airlines' flight landed early Monday at Geneva International Airport, but the situation on the plane was still unclear, according to multiple reports. Full story