At one point the hijacking of EgyptAir flight diverted to Larnaca Airport in Cyprus, which went without any incident or threat, could have been likened to a ‘Cypriot farce’ or a script for Cypriot TV. The ‘love’ twist, giving the hijacker’s demands to see his ex-wife, a Cypriot, a woman named as Marina Paraschou, and a four-page letter in Arabic handed over to the authorities, thickens the plot further.
Thankfully, the hijacking of EgyptAir Flight MS181 passed without any serious injury to any hostages, passengers and crew.
The ‘twist’ was perhaps very-well crystallised by Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades who responded to a reporter’s question about whether the hijacker was motivated by romance, by laughing and saying: “Always there is a woman involved.”
The country’s leader also thanked all of the local emergency services, including the Cypriot soldiers, for their quick and efficient reaction to the incident.
EgyptAir Flight MS181 was taken over by a passenger claiming to be a suicide explosive belt.
EgyptAir said the Airbus A320 was carrying 56 passengers from Alexandria to Cairo, along with six crew and a security official.
The hijacker’s motives were said to by Cypriot authorities, plainly of a non-terrorist nature, and the belt was ‘fake’ despite it having wires sticking out to be give the pretence of genuine explosive.
The suspect had gradually released passengers and crew throughout the day, and the air-pilot was filmed climbing off the plane.
Cypriot’s RIK TV reported that the man, believed to be an Egyptian national, made a list of demands, including ‘to deliver a message’ to a woman who was identified as his ex-wife.
The Cypriot authorities described the man as ”mentally unstable” and will be brought before a local court, on Wednesday.