How It Happened: The Malta Hijack That Ended With All Hostages Safely Released

Hijackers have now surrendered – here's a step by step account of how it happened


1. An Airbus A320 took off from Sebha in the centre of Libya at 10.10am. It was meant to land in Tripoli at 11.20am but two hijackers took over and demanded that the plane is diverted to Malta. 

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2. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat broke the news in a Tweet as the plane touched down in Malta. 

3. Suddenly the story became the biggest story across international media.

4. Negotiations with hijackers began as it emerged that a baby was among the hostages. 

5. Al Arabiya reports that a Libyan MP is on board, as speculation mounts as to the hijackers' demands.

6. The exit doors open and the first women and children started to be evacuated.

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7. Another group of hostages are evacuated, men included.

8. All the passengers are evacuated, including some members of crew. But the hijackers and pilots remain on board. 

9. One hijacker emerges from the plane wearing a beige suit and waving a green flag, displaying his support of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. He goes back into the plane. 

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10. News emerges that the hijackers wanted asylum in Malta. Other reports state that the hijackers want to begin a political party in favour of Gaddafi. 

11. The rest of the crew leaves the plane sandwiched between the two hijackers who are soon disarmed by the Armed Forces Of Malta

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12. Joseph Muscat announces the end of the hijack drama. 

READ NEXT: LIVE UPDATES: Hijackers Surrender And Final Crew Members Are Evacuated

Written By

Chris Peregin