EgyptAir hijack: As it happened

An EgyptAir plane on a domestic flight was hijacked on Tuesday and later landed in Cyprus, where all but four foreign passengers and the crew were released.

EgyptAir hijack: As it happened
EgyptAir plane at Larnaca airport
  • Orenair Boeing 737 is the first flight to land at Laanaca after EgyptAir event: Report.
  • EgyptAir hijacker 'unstable', says Cyprus foreign ministry - AFP.
  • Hijacker arrested says Cyprus government spokesman - AFP.
  • Cyprus broadcasting reports EgyptAir hijacker emerging from aircraft with hands held up - Reuters.
  • 7 more people get off hijacked Egypt plane, man seen climbing out of cockpit window, as per a media report.
  • Cyprus' Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the hijacker of EgyptAir flight is Seif Eldin Mustafa and the situation is still ongoing.
  • We can't reveal more information at the moment as we have info that may 'shock' many people: Egypt's Civil Aviation Minister
  • Cyprus state broadcaster reports hijacker asking for release of female prisoners in Egypt, reports Reuters. 
  • EgyptAir hijacker's ex-wife arrives to receive "love" letter.
  • Egyptian presidency spokesman says EgyptAir hijacker is Egyptian. He had earlier said that the hijacker was Egyptian-American.
  • Egyptian state TV had earlier named a passenger as the hijacker but his colleague later told news agency Reuters that he was one of the victims.
  • The hijacker has not made any concrete demands so far, says Sherif Fathy, who declines to give the nationalities of the passengers still on the plane. He further refuses to identify the hijacker. 
  • "He had no gun or anything. We don`t know yet whether his (explosives) belt is real but for the safety of passengers we are dealing with it as real," says the minister. A plane will head to Larnaca at 1030 GMT to pick up the released passengers, he adds.
  • Addressing a press conference, the minister said that the captain, a co-pilot, an air hostess and a security man remained on board, along with the three passengers.
  • Four crew, three passengers still on board the hijacked EgyptAir plane: Egypt's Civil Aviation Minister 
  • EgyptAir hijacker is an Egyptian-American dual citizen, says an Egyptian official.
  • Hijacker of EgyptAir is 'not a terrorist but an idiot': Egypt's Foreign Ministry
  • The Cyprus Police confirms that EgyptAir hijacker's ex-wife, Marina Parashkou, has been taken to participate in negotiations.  
  • President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades says EgyptAir flight MS181 hijacking is "not related to terrorism".
  • EgyptAir hijacker is professor of veterinary medicine at Alexandria University: University website
  • At least five more people freed from hijacked EgyptAir plane: AFP
  • EgyptAir hijacker demands to see estranged Cypriot wife: Government official
  • EgyptAir tweets emergency numbers:
  • Airlive has tweeted a picture of the possible hijacker:
  • Witnesses say hijacker threw a letter, written in Arabic, outside parked plane in Larnaca airport. 
  • Israel scrambles warplanes in its airspace as a precaution in response to the hijacking, according to an Israeli military source.
  • Ian Petchenik, a spokesman for FlightRadar24, tells news agency The Associated Press that EgyptAir flight MS181 flew in a typical fashion on the Cyprus, without the pilots signaling any trouble via their transponder.
  • Cyprus closes Larnaca airport after hijacking, flights diverted to Paphos.
  • EgyptAir hijacker wants a letter to be given to his ex-wife who lives in Larnaca: Cyprus state TV 
  • The Cyprus Foreign Ministry confirms one hijacker, but is unsure about explosives.
  • Egyptian state TV identifies hijacker as Ibrahim Samaha. 
  • Reports suggest that the gunman has told police to back away from the aircraft and is said to be demanding political asylum. The man, who is Egyptian, is asking for a translator to press his demand.
  • EgyptAir says it has negotiated release of all aboard hijacked plane except five foreigners and the crew.
  • The hijacked EgyptAir jet has 8 Britons and 10 Americans aboard. 
  • Here is the first picture of the hijacked plane:

  • All Egyptian passengers have been released from the hijacked plane in Cyprus, foreign passengers still onboard: Reports 
  • Another Cypriot official says there "seems like there's more than one hijacker". 
  • Cypriot state media reports that 20 people have been released from hijacked EgyptAir flight MS181 at Larnaca airport.
  • EgyptAir plane hijacker lets women, children leave the aircraft.
  • EgyptAir hijacker threatened to detonate explosives belt: Egypt civil aviation
  • In an official statement in Arabic, the EgyptAir says the hijacked plane is an Airbus 320 Flight 181, carrying 81 passengers and flying between Alexandria and Cairo. The pilot said that a passenger told him he had an explosives vest and forced the plane to land in Larnaca. The authorities are negotiating with the kidnapper.
  • EgyptAir confirms the hijacking of its flight.
  • EgyptAir hijackers contacted control tower at 8:30 am (GMT) and the plane was given permission to land at 8:50 am, reports AFP. 
  • The hijacked plane is carrying 55 passengers, seven crew: Egyptian airport official
  • A Cyprus official says a bomb is suspected aboard the hijacked plane.
  • EgyptAir hijacker hasn't outlined demands, says Cyprus state TV.
  • One person is thought to be armed.
  • According to reports, the hijacked EgyptAir plane is an Airbus 320.
  • The passenger plane, with nearly 80 people aboard, has landed at Larnaca International Airport in Cyprus.
  • An EgyptAir passenger plane, travelling from Alexandria to Cairo, has been hijacked.

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