MIAA, Saudia: Plane ‘hijack’ false alarm
The Manila International Airport Authority (Miaa) clarified that the isolation of Saudi Arabian Airlines flight SVA 872 was a case of false alarm.
Miaa said the captain accidentally pressed the alarm button twice.
A spokesperson for the airline, known as Saudia, also said a false alarm prompted Philippine police to surround the plane at the Naia on Tuesday.
There was a “false alarm for hijack for Flight 872,” the spokesperson said in the Saudi capital Riyadh.
The airline gave the same information on its Twitter account, adding that the aircraft had flown to Manila from the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah.
Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines spokesperson Eric Apolonio said earlier that the plane had been “isolated” on the runway after reports it was “under threat.”
Passengers were allowed to disembark by batches, after undergoing security checks and clearing operations.
The plane was carrying returning pilgrims from the annual hajj that should have disembarked by 1 p.m. They started deplaning shortly before 5 p.m.
Miaa on Tuesday said it received information from the Manila Control Tower that the flight was “under threat” around 20 miles before landing.
Authorities conducted standard operating procedure in accordance with the airport emergency plan.
Personnel of the Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group airport authorities and airline executives responded on site.
In Cebu, Mactan-Cebu International Airport General Manager Nigel Paul Villarete said airport operations were not affected by what was happening at the Naia.
“We’re operating normally. Of course, we are aware of the incident at the Naia. We nonetheless continue to be vigilant and ready to implement our airport emergency plans if and when any hijacking incident happens,” Villarete said.
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