'Calm And Collected' Crew Praised by Airline Following Malta Hijack
They were trained to the highest international standards
Afriqiyah Airways has praised the captain and crew whose plane was hijacked and forced to land in Malta on December 23rd. In a statement issued after the plane left Malta this afternoon, the airline's flight operations manage praised "the calm and competent manner" in which the crew of flight 8U209 handled the threatening situation on board.
“Despite the political instability in Libya, Afriqiyah Airways has continued to maintain a commitment to train its crews to the highest international standards. In the case of this hijack, he noted, it is evident that, the Afriqiyah crews and their Maltese counterparts managed the crisis in a really professional manner and as such should be lauded for that," the statement read.
"The Afriqiyah crews and their Maltese counterparts managed the crisis in a really professional manner and as such should be lauded for that."
In court this week it emerged that the passengers on board did not even realise a hijacking had taken place because the young pair of Libyan hijackers simply passed on a hand-written note to the crew, demanding that the plane lands in Rome. The crew managed to stabilise the situation without alarming anybody on board. The hijack ended peacefully with all passengers and crew released safely before the hijackers surrendered and were arrested. It turned out they were only carrying two fake guns and a fake grenade.
The peaceful end of the hijack sparked many conspiracies, some funny, others much less so. The police have told Lovin Malta that they will not entertain an investigation on the conspiracy theory led by a South American news portal, which implied the hijack could have been a front to transport something to Malta.
Meanwhile, sources told Lovin Malta this week that one explanation for the seemingly motiveless hijack could be related to a Libyan turf war which erupted only a day later around the airbase from where the plane initially left off in Sebha, Libya.
The aircraft, which left Malta this afternoon after being released by the courts, will now return to the airline’s commercial network operations.