An Egyptair plane was skyjacked in the early morning on 29 March by one man who forced the Airbus A320 to land at Larnaca airport in Cyprus. According to the airline the aircraft, an Airbus, was bound for Cairo from Alexandria, with 55 passengers and 7 crew members onboard. Following the incident, the airport was closed, flights were diverted and a special situation room set up.
The passengers were all gradually released, leaving only the flight crew on board, with the hijacker threatening to trigger his explosives belt - which finally turned out to be false. This explains, perhaps, how he was able to pass through the security gates without problem.
After five hours of negotiating, the man described as "psychologically unstable" by the Cypriot Ministry of Foreign Affairs, finally surrendered, and was immediately arrested.
No casualties were reported. The motivations of the fifty year-old Egyptian skyjacker were of a personal nature. Even though he was wearing what looked like dangerous explosives, he has no previous terrorist connections. The man has asked to see his ex-wife, now domiciled in Cyprus, and demanded political asylum.
Cairo based Egyptair, currently operates a fleet of 79 aircraft, is a holding company with nine subsidiaries, and has been a member of Star Alliance since 2008.