EgyptAir hijacker demands to see estranged wife; Cyprus President says incident not related to ‘terrorism’

EgyptAir said in a statement on Tuesday that only crew and four foreigners remained on a hijacked Egyptian plane that was forced to divert to Cyprus.

A hijacker seized an Egyptian airliner and diverted it to Cyprus, triggering a hostage crisis at Larnaca airport on the south coast.
The hijacker contacted the control tower at 8:30 am (0530 GMT) and the plane was given permission to land at 8:50 am, Cyprus police said.
The hijacker made no immediate demands and later allowed Egyptian passengers to leave.
“The negotiations with the hijacker have resulted in the release of all the plane passengers with the exception of the crew and five foreigners,” the airline said in a statement.
The Egypt Air plane was headed from the Mediterranean coastal city of Alexandria to Cairo with 81 passengers on board when it was seized, Egyptian civil aviation said.
Larnaca is no stranger to hostage crises. Several hijacked planes were diverted to the airport in the 1970s and 1980s.
(With agency inputs)
13:52 PM
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades says Egypt plane hijacking not related to “terrorism.

13:42 PM
Emergency Call Center
Within Egypt 0800 77 77 000
International +2 02 25989320-29
— EGYPTAIR (@EGYPTAIR) March 29, 2016

13:23 PM
EgyptAir hijacker may have personal motives – Cyprus broadcaster
Cyprus broadcasting (CYBC) reported that the hijacker of an EgyptAir plane that was forced to land in Cyprus on Tuesday may have personal motives.
The hijacker had an ex-wife in Cyprus, CYBC said.
Witnesses said the hijacker threw a letter on the apron of the airport in Larnaca, written in Arabic, asking that it be delivered to his ex-wife, who is Cypriot. (Reuters)

13:19 PM
Cyprus official says 56 people on board the hijacked EgyptAir plane have been released and have left the aircraft, reports AP.

13:19 PM
Egyptian media identifies one hijacker of EgyptAir plane as Ibrahim Samaha

12:55 PM
Passengers on the EgyptAir plane included eight Britons and 10 Americans, three security sources at Alexandria airport said. (Reuters)

12:53 PM
Negotiations with hijacker resulted in the release of all the passengers except cabin crew and five foreigners, says EgyptAir

12:48 PM
Cyprus foreign ministry official says EgyptAir hijacker yet to make demands
The person who hijacked an EgyptAir domestic flight from Alexandria to Cairo on Tuesday has yet to make any demands, a Cypriot foreign ministry official said on Tuesday.
“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. (Reuters)

12:38 PM
Pilot of hijacked Egyptair plane was threatened by a passenger with suicide belt – Ministry
A passenger with a suicide belt threatened the pilot of a hijacked EgyptAir plane that was diverted to Cyprus on Tuesday, the Civil Aviation Ministry said.
In a statement, the ministry said pilot Omar al-Gammal had informed authorities that he was threatened by a passenger who possessed a suicide belt and forced him to land in Larnaca.

12:36 PM
BREAKING First picture of hijacked #Egyptair A320 at Larcana airport
— AIRLIVE (@airlivenet) March 29, 2016

12:34 PM
According to Cypriot official, Egypt plane hijackers has allowed women, children to leave; some now disembarking, reports AP.

12:16 PM
Our flight MS181 is officially hijacked. we’ll publish an official statement now. #Egyptair
— EGYPTAIR (@EGYPTAIR) March 29, 2016

12:16 PM
“Egypt air plane was an Airbus 320 Flight 181, carrying 81 passengers and flying from Borg to Cairo airport,” said EgyptAir in series of tweets.