An aircraft belonging to Ethiopian Airlines landed safely in Geneva on Monday, after the co-pilot seized control of the plane which was supposed to have landed in Rome. After landing the aircraft, the co-pilot sought for asylum in Switzerland.
It was reported that the co-pilot took control of the Boeing 767-300, while the pilot was in the bathroom. All the 193 passengers are reportedly safe and were seen leaving the aircraft with their hands on their necks before boarding a bus.
Flight 702 had been en route to Rome from Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, when it sent out transponder code 7500, an alarm signal that usually indicates hijacking.
The plane had been flying over Sudan when it sent out the signal. It reached Geneva with just 20 minutes of fuel left, circling the airport several times before landing.
Street Journal gathered that the incident briefly shut down the busy airport and caused the cancelation of some flights as incoming aircraft were diverted to other airports.
The concerned airline has also issued a statement which reads in part: “Ethiopian Airlines flight ET-702 on scheduled service departing from Addis Ababa on 17 February 2014 at 00:30 (local time) scheduled to arrive in Rome at 04:40 (local time) was forced to proceed to Geneva Airport.”
It was however not contained in the statement whether the plane was hijacked or not. The airline did not also offer any explanation for the diversion.