An aircraft operated by Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) was placed in “isolation” at the Manila airport following fears of a hijacking.
Flight SVA 872 from Jeddah landed at around 3.00pm local time at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and was isolated at a secluded portion of runway six, according to local media reports.
Anti-hijacking operatives were reportedly seen in the area.
Saudia plane from KSA isolated at NAIA. Situation still unclear. Pax of aircraft should have disembarked at 1 pm pic.twitter.com/I0P93yUiHw
— Jeannette Andrade (@jiandradeINQ) September 20, 2016
The Manila International Airport Authority said it received advice from the Manila control tower that the flight was under threat 20 miles before landing.
However, the hijacking threat was a “false alarm” and the incident is now over, the airline confirmed.
— SAUDIA | السعودية (@Saudi_Airlines) September 20, 2016
NAIA general manager Ed Monreal also said the Saudia flight made a “distress call” but eventually said it was “a mistake”. The pilot allegedly hit the “hijacking” button by mistake.
According to ABS-CBN channel, there were around 300 passengers onboard the plane. Many of them were apparently returning from the haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.
ON THE PHONE: Sharief Macabando, a relative of passengers of SVA 872 says his relatives in the plane are "ok." pic.twitter.com/kynSDS0GBA
— ABS-CBN News Channel (@ANCALERTS) September 20, 2016