An Ethiopian Airlines flight en route to Rome was hijacked on Monday and forced to land in Geneva, where the hijacker has been arrested, police said.
Flight ET-702 from Addis Ababa to Rome “was hijacked… it landed in Geneva at 6:00 am (0500 GMT),” Geneva police spokesman Christophe Fortis told AFP, adding that the alleged hijacker “has been arrested.” “The airport has been closed and the situation is under control,” he said.
There were no immediate reports of injuries and Ethiopian Airlines said in a statement in Addis Ababa that “the passengers are safe and sound”. The plane was parked at a far end of a runway crowded with police and other emergency vehicles, with passengers filing out with their arms up in the air before getting onto waiting buses, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.
According to the Tribune de Geneve newspaper, the flight was hijacked as it flew over Sudan, but the reason for the hijacking was not immediately clear. The Boeing 767 left Addis Ababa at 00:30 am (2130 GMT Sunday) and was due to land in the Italian capital at 4:40 am.
According to the Geneva airport website, all flights to and from the airport early Monday had either been diverted or cancelled.