Saudi Plane Hijacked To Syria
Oct. 14, 2000
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) _ Hijackers seized a London-bound Saudi plane Saturday soon after it took off, Egyptian civil aviation officials said. The plane, which officials said may be carrying more than 300 people, appeared headed for Syria.
Cypriot air traffic controllers said the plane, Saudi Arabian Airlines Flight 115, was flying east through their airspace toward Damascus, Syria's capital. It was expected to land in the Syrian capital at 5 p.m. local time, the controllers said in Larnaca, Cyprus, on condition of anonymity.
The plane is a Boeing 777 and is full of passengers, Saudi Arabian Airlines officials said in Riyadh, the Saudi capital. The officials, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said they could not immediately say exactly how many passengers were on board. But such planes carry between 320 and 400 passengers depending on their seating configuration.
Egyptian aviation officials, who first received the pilot's alert, said the plane had taken off from Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, en route to London when it was hijacked. The pilot reported the hijacker wanted to go to Syria.
The Egyptian officials lost contact with the pilot after receiving the message at 3:55 p.m. local time.
No other details were immediately available.