Skip to comments.Swiss fighters grounded during hijacking as outside office hours
Posted on 02/17/2014 12:04:39 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
Geneva No Swiss fighter jets were scrambled Monday when an Ethiopian Airlines co-pilot hijacked his own plane and forced it to land in Geneva, because it happened outside business hours, the Swiss airforce said.
When the co-pilot on flight ET-702 from Addis Ababa to Rome locked himself in the cockpit while the pilot went to the bathroom and announced a hijacking, Italian and French fighter jets were scrambled to escort the plane through their respective airspaces.
But although the co-pilot-turned-hijacker quickly announced he wanted to land the plane in Switzerland, where he later said he aimed to seek asylum, Switzerland's fleet of F-18s and F-5 Tigers remained on the ground, Swiss airforce spokesman Laurent Savary told AFP.
This, he explained, was because the Swiss airforce is only available during office hours. These are reported to be from 8am until noon, then 1:30 to 5pm.
"Switzerland cannot intervene because its airbases are closed at night and on the weekend," he said, adding: "It's a question of budget and staffing."
Monday's hijacking, carried out by 31-year-old Hailemedehin Abera Tagegn, according to Addis Ababa, took place in the very early hours, with the aircraft and its 202 passengers and crew landing safely in Geneva at 6:02 am (0502 GMT).
That was just two minutes after the airport opened for business, and two hours before the Swiss airforce is operational.
Savary said Switzerland relies heavily on deals with its neighbours, especially France, to help police its airspace outside regular office hours.
He explained that French fighters can escort a suspicious aircraft into Swiss airspace, "but there is no question of shooting it down. It's a question of national sovereignty".
Swiss airspace is under constant electronic surveillance, he pointed out, adding that the wealthy Alpine nation is also studying the
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A F/A-18 Hornet fighter aircraft of the Swiss Air Force takes off on February 20, 2013 at Payerne airport (AFP/File, Fabrice Coffrini)
If the SWISS commander’s watch stops, do the planes remain grounded until it is fixed? Just asking.
So if you want to attack Switzerland, do it after hours or on a holiday.
If it’s a Swiss-made watch, it will rarely stop. Can’t beat the Swiss at watch-making.....
Even the Swiss air force works “banker’s hours”.
“Please leave a message and we’ll return fire during normal business hours. Thank you for choosing Switzerland for your conquest needs!”
So if you want to attack Switzerland, do it after hours, or on a holiday.
Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living....................
He wants asylum?! Right, he should make a fine upstanding citizen!
You can’t attack Switzerland after hours or during a holiday.
Helloooooo.....didn’t you read the article?
“We are sorry, you are attempting to invade outside normal invasion hours. Please halt your invasion and try again when soldiers are available to kill you.”
“What if they gave a war and nobody came?”
The fighter pilots must have a darn good union.
the 35-hour work-week will end war on earth
Well, at least for 133 hours out of each week!
Si la invasión de México, o de otros países de habla española, marque "1"