Illustration for article titled A Co-Pilot Just Hijacked His Own Plane to Seek Asylum

As emigration plans go, this one was at least ambitious: a co-pilot of an Ethiopian Airlines flight to Italy hijacked his own plane this morning to try and seek asylum in Switzerland.


According to local police, the co-pilot locked the cockpit door when the pilot of the airplane was in the bathroom, and then took control. He overshot the designated destination of Rome, and carried on 400 miles to Geneva in Switzerland. There's a recording online, discovered by Reuters social media editor Matthew Keys, which appears to be of the pilot requesting asylum in the country.

Flight Radar shows that the plane circled Geneva International Airport several times before landing. Talks between airport officials and the co-pilot apparently continued, until he left the plane through the windows, via a rope(!). He later surrendered himself to the police—and it's currently not clear how his requests for asylum are being handled.


While Swiss police say "there was no risk to crew or passengers at any time," it must have been fairly terrifying to be a passenger aboard that aircraft. [ABC News via Verge]

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