Wednesday, August 7, 2013

► SOUTH AFRICA: SAA jet suffers another false hijack alert, this time in Port Elizabeth.

SAA logoA South African Airways (SA) jet operating as flight SA417 from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth was yesterday met at Port Elizabeth International Airport by armed police and other emergency response teams after squawking that their aircraft had been hijacked. The incident turned out to be a false alarm.

Port Elizabeth Airport
AlgoaFM reports that after safely landing, the aircraft (type unspecified) was towed to a remote part of the ramp for further inspection. All passengers are said to have disembarked safely.

Colin Naidoo of the Airports Company South Africa said the plane landed safely and no passengers were injured. The return flight to Johannesburg was delayed because of the emergency.
"A scheduled aircraft from Johannesburg to PE experienced a problem and the phase was escalated to a Phase 2 which resulted in us ensuring that emergency services and the police were informed to be on standby. The aircraft landed safely and the police had to do the necessary checks with the aircraft and at this stage the investigation will be conducted by the Civil Aviation Authority and the airline concerned," said Naidoo.
This is the second such incident to have occurred in the last 3 weeks. On July 16, an inbound SAA flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg suffered the same incident.