Photo of the Boeing 767 (reg ET-AMF) that could be possibly hi-jacked as flight ETH702 - Photo: Fabrice Clerc | Flicker CC

Photo of the Boeing 767 (reg ET-AMF) that was hijacked as flight ETH702 – Photo: Fabrice Clerc | Flicker CC

At 5:00pm Pacific Time, Ethiopian Flight 702, a Boeing 767-300 (registered ET-AMF) was flying over Sudan when it started squawking 7500. The transponder code, is supposed to indicate a “hijacking.”

Sometimes, pilots accidentally switch to this code or equipment malfunctions. This however, does not appear to be the case. The aircraft can be tracked live via Flightradar 24.

This was hopefully just an error, but this was certainly a deviation from normal flight.

We have reached out to a source who is an aircraft electrical expert and they confirmed that a “7500” code can’t come from a glitch.

The flight, operating from Addis Abba to Rome has been confirmed by Rome Airport not to have arrived yet.  It is currently circling over Geneva Airport (GVA), with a military escort.  Emergency crews are standing by a GVA.

The unusual flight path the hijacked aircraft took prior to its safe landing. Image - Flightradar24

The unusual flight path the hijacked aircraft took prior to its safe landing – Image: Flightradar24

The aircraft landed in Geneva, safely, but with an extremely limited quantity of fuel remaining.

This story will be updated as details emerge.

We will also be live updating via twitter with #ET702

Ethiopian Airlines Press Release: 

Ethiopian Airlines flight 702 on scheduled service departing from Addis Ababa at 00:30 (local time) scheduled to arrive in Rome at 04:40 (local time) was forced to proceed to Geneva Airport. Accordingly, the flight has landed safely at Geneva Airport. All passengers and crew are safe at Geneva Airport.

Ethiopian Airlines is making immediate arrangements to fly its esteemed customers on-board the flight to their intended destinations.

Once the press release went out to the public, the airline recanted it. Shortly it was re-released with minor changes.


  • The aircraft now has 20 minutes of fuel remaining (8:45pm PST) via
  • Reports of one engine potentially flaming out (unconfirmed via LiveATC)
  • Reports of the aircraft being directed to make an approach but not landing until a response is given regarding the word “asylum” (via LiveATC)
  • Fuel warning has been received on the flight deck (Via LiveATC)
  • Aircraft apparently cleared for an ILS approach. What could be a hostage negotiator has been heard on the radio (Via LiveATC)
  • Response to the request will be given by Swiss Authorities on Short Final for landing on Runway 05 (via LiveATC)
  • AIRCRAFT HAS LANDED SAFELY (Via FlightRadar24 and LiveATC)
  • Pilots heard on radio stating they will be exiting via the aircraft flight deck window. (via LiveATC)
  • Airport/Airspace around Geneva is now closed (via LiveATC)
  • Geneva airport remains closed (updated at 10:01PST)
  • Unconfirmed reports the aircraft is parked at the end of Runway 05.
  • Asylum request still pending. (9:33PST)
  • International arrivals into Geneva are diverting to other airports (via FlightRadar 24)
  • “We will disembark our passengers within the next 5 minutes and we will call you back.” Heard over LiveATC. (10:13pm PST) According to John Walton- this may actually have been regarding the arrival of BA723.
  • Geneva Airport now saying that police are still negotiating with hijackers. (10:32pm)
  • As of 10:42pm, there are unconfirmed rumors there is a lone hijacker.
  • Geneva Airport Police confidently stating that no one has been hurt (10:45pm)
  • Swiss Authorities stating that they have arrested the hi-jacker
  • There is a press conference scheduled for 9:00am CET (12:00am PST)
  • Swiss Police confirming that a pilot aboard the aircraft is the individual in custody (10:54pm PST)
  • Signs of life on Geneva ATC are starting to be heard- normal airport operations are expected to resume shortly (10:56pm) (via Live ATC)
  • News from the press conference indicates that it may have been the first officer that hijacked the aircraft (12:16am PST)
  • The aircraft was apparently escorted by two Eurofighter Typhoons (12:20am PST)
  • The co-pilot locked himself in the flight deck and was unarmed (12:27am)
  • Regardless of where the hijacker is tried (either Geneva or Bern)- he is looking at a potential 20 year sentence.
  • Back in 1996 an Ethiopian 767 had to ditch in the water due to hi-jackers and lack of fuel. Fight 961

This story was written by one or more of our AirlineReporter staff members. Email us:
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Andrew Chuang

I heard that the aircraft was parked at the end of the runway (from…..

I am at the airport in the departure hall. All flights delayed. Some cancelled. More updates at 08:45. People here are starting to get the news via internet. Airport authorities still communicating “operating issues”

I hope this ends with no one getting hurt!

Announcement at 07:52. Airport is now open!

girmay alene

i hope….no one will get hurt everyone will be okay.

No one has been hurt, that is 100% confirmed by Swiss authorities.

I hope this will end with out any human damanges.

I hope this will end with out any human damages. Our GOD is help us

Let`s pray for the passengers and the crew to remain safe.

Really bad news;god help all passengers and crew members be safe.

this doesn make sense :/ what did the hijacker want anyways?. This is really embarrassing for our country . . Officials should apologize to the passengers . . I mean seriously, Where were the securities at??. . . . Oh well looking at the bright side every1 is okay.

Eurofighter Typhoons in Switzerland? I don’t think so.
switzerland has only some few FA-18 and F-5E, and I don’t think it will be possible for any other airforce to come in

He must be a very wretched person; otherwise, he would have not acted in such an irresponsible manner as this causing unnecessary damage to our beloved country and its great airline. Maferia now!

He must be a very wretched person; otherwise, he would have not acted in such an irresponsible manner as this causing unnecessary damage to the image of our beloved country and its great airline. Maferia now!

Why didn’t he land in Rome and get the train to GVA? So it seems 20 years in a Swiss jail is better than a weekend in Italy?

Why didn’t he land in Rome and get the train to GVA? So it seems 20 years in a Swiss jail is better than a weekend in Italy?
Twitter @trayset

@ouzet the typhoons were from Italy.

thanks to God! saving of 140 people Italians and the does not give any sense to do such stupid action from co-pilot professional.

I don’t thing this is done for the sake of asylum. There should be some thing behind the case. But what SO EVER is done our beloved Airlines will remain strong

Besides; This is an alarming bell for the responsible workers and management of Ethiopian airlines

I don’t think that he did it for asylum. let us wait and hear from him..if that is so he must be crazy.. Love Ethiopian Airlines..whatever happens

Really shocking, and this man he must be selfish. He must be given equivalent action for such non-tolerable act.

What a stupid copilot. He should be in jail for risking innocent passengers lives.

what a heinous it is!

i don’t understand why people pass their home trash over to other inocent paasengers. Looking forward to hear a verdict that will give him an expensive lesson he deserves.

Is he mentally stable? That is the first question, then his case to take that action. Yes, what he did was wrong by any standard, but I would like to hear his motive in detail and how his action would have accomplish the intended goal he has in mind.

The man is very foolish, but for Ethiopian government is deserve for its ill management of human right and false development. it will continue until human right will be respected. Thanks to God who helped the passenger.

TPLF has to be learn and leave the position for the genuine leader.

It is a shame to him. He will not gain anything from choosing to land this way instead of taking train from Roma. He must be crazy.

you right. What a shame ! How many times should such morons terrify the world.

This clearly show how Ethiopians live under siege. the country is colonized by one communist ethnically narrowed regime. The poor pilot escaped from a prison and took the only option he has thats everybody in Ethiopia wants to do. the risk to escape from the largest prion in the world. This pilot tells the world the situation very clearly.
shame on The weyane regime and its allies.

what wonderful copilot. big message.choice of freedom !

Trevor Fadzi

A very despicable act by a desperate man. However if Ethiopia is the world’s biggest prison, then I don’t know what you’d call Zimbabwe!

desta feisa

I dont understand why he did not stay in Italy. As an ailines pilot, he can get a free ticket to fly out to any country of his choice for free. Glad all passangers and crew are safe.

Derebe alene

What is his reason? I am sure he did for a reason.

It shows the tyranny and oppressive leadership in the country n in Ethiopian airline as a whole n it takes a gut to do this .and I hope we will here from him .

Alex Kryl

The copilot ckaimed that he was threatened in his home country, as well as his family. Maybe a pilot won’t get asylu so easy because he is in relatively wealthy state. Asylants are mostly poor people, that is the thought behind it. (We swiss are, to my shame, not very well known for offering hands to people in need… ) He seems to be mentally sick in some way, he could have moved to some other country.How much is Ethiopian paying??

Walt Bates

You claim that in 1996, an Ethiopian 767 ditched near the Comoros Islands due to being out of fuel. Not true.

The video of the event clearly shows that the RAT was fully stowed all the way to impact. It would have autodeployed with a dual flameout.

Any other ideas?

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