Fifty-two passengers were freed from the hijacked EgyptAir plane that was rerouted on demand of the hijacker from Alexandria to Larnaca in Cyprus.
Negotiations with the hijacker resulted in freeing the passengers except for the plane’s crew and four foreign passengers, according to EgyptAir.
The plane was planned to fly from Borg Al-Arab in Alexandria to Cairo International Airport before a hijacker who claimed to be wearing an explosive belt demanded that pilot Omar Al-Gamal reroute to Laranca.
Samaha first demanded the pilot to head to Turkey, but the pilot convinced him that there is not enough fuel to afford this route, according to a family member of the pilot. The plane landed in the Cypriot airport at 8.50am.
Egyptian airport security has been under heavy scrutiny since the Russian airliner was downed in late October, killing all 224 people on board.