- An unruly passenger, possibly armed with a knife, disrupted a Flydubai flight to Kabul
- Iranian news agency reported the incident as a hijacking attempt
- But Dubai’s GCAA and Flydubai both disputed the reported hijacking attempt
United Arab Emirates’ low-cost carrier, Flydubai, has denied rumors of an attempted hijacking of a passenger plane bound for Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday, May 23.
This after Iran’s news agency reported that an unruly passenger, possibly armed with a knife, tried to enter the cockpit but was subdued by the pilot and was locked in the bathroom.
“The Iranian Air Traffic Engineering Directorate announced that the flight of the Dubai-based Dubai Fly Dubai Airlines, which was launched from Dubai to Kabul, was about 90 miles from Zahedan saying that a person armed with a knife intends to enter the cockpit,” Azad news agency was quoted as saying.
The incident reportedly happened on Iranian airspace.
The report added the pilot and the crew successfully locked the suspect inside the toilet before asking for a return flight to Dubai.
“According to the report, after a few minutes, the pilot responded to Iran’s flight control of whether a hostage was taken or not, saying that the crew had succeeded in imprisoning the person in the toilet,” it said; adding further that the man was eventually disarmed and “placed under the control of the crew in the chair”.
However, both the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and the airline said that the report of the alleged hijacking attempt on Flight No. FZ301 was “incorrect”.
“We are aware of the social media reports; however, this incident is currently being investigated. The preliminary information would indicate that these reports are not correct. We will provide further updates as more information becomes available,” said a spokesperson for Flydubai in a statement.
The GCAA also clarified that the flight indeed returned to Dubai but the passengers were able to resume their flight and left the Dubai International Airport at 8:31 am.
“The accidental incident happened as a result of a behavior of one of the passengers who was detained by the competent authorities upon the arrival of the plane to the airport,” said GCAA Director General Saif Al Suwaidi in a separate statement.