Swiss Air Force is not escorted by the hijacked aircraft: Adjusting the working hours
China News Service, Berlin, February 20th (Reporter Huang Shuanghong) Berne News: “Under work” and failed to escort a hijacked passenger plane, which made the country’s Ministry of Defense embarrassed. The Swiss Defense Ministry said on the 20th in the Berne parliament that the future Air Force fighters will be ready at any time outside the “working hours”.
On the 17th of this month, an Ethiopian passenger plane carrying more than 200 passengers was hijacked by the co-pilot during the voyage to Rome, Italy. The co-pilot took the opportunity to go to the toilet and locked himself in the cockpit and changed the destination of Rome to Switzerland. The hijackers claimed to want to apply for political asylum in Switzerland.
After the hijacked aircraft entered Italian airspace, the Italian Air Force dispatched two fighters to escort. The aircraft was also escorted by the French Air Force during its flight over French airspace. The passenger plane entered Swiss airspace in the early hours of the day. Since the working hours of the Swiss Army were 8 am, and no one was on duty at the time, the French Air Force had been escorting the aircraft to the Geneva airport, allowing the aircraft to land safely at 6 o’clock in the morning.
The Swiss Ministry of Defence later argued that even if the Air Force driver is on duty at night, it is impossible to quickly use the aircraft to take off. Switzerland and France have signed cooperation agreements for similar matters, and the bilateral warning system between the country and the EU countries is also very smooth. Italy notified Switzerland about the hijacking at 4:30 in the morning.
In an explanation to the parliament, the Ministry of National Defense stated that the Swiss Army will change its working hours and prepare for the future. To this end, hundreds of new pilots must be recruited and an additional expenditure of 30 million Swiss francs will be incurred. This plan is also expected to be realized as early as 2018.
Responsible Editor: Zhang Xiaofang