Saudia Airlines highjack report, a false alarm — MIAA

MANILA — The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) confirmed on Tuesday that the highjacking threat earlier reported about Saudia Airlines flight SVA 872 from Jeddah was a false alarm.

Authorities said the pilot accidentally pressed the highjack button, which prompted airport authorities to place the aircraft in isolation for security reasons.

Twenty miles before the said flight’s landing, MIAA authorities said they received advise from the Manila control tower that the plane was under threat.

A distress signal from the pilot received on Tuesday afternoon, which indicated squawking 7500 — a code used by pilots that a hijacking incident is on progress on board.

Upon landing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Saudia Airlines was placed in total isolation, and authorities immediately conducted investigation.

The airport authorities, together with the Aviation Security Group (AVSEGROUP), implemented the standard operating procedures in accordance with the airport emergency plan.

Passengers have already been ferried out and transported to the NAIA terminal building.

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) probers are now conducting an investigation to determine the cause of the incident.

“Appropriate penalties and sanctions will be imposed on the erring pilot if result is indeed a human error,” CAAP said. Ma. Cristina Arayata/PNA/