Swiss fighters grounded during hijacking

Yahoo News:

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.

If only the bad guys kept the same hours.

  • dreyfus2

    As the bad guys normally only come to Switzerland to deposit their money, this has never been a real concern.

  • live-work balance.

  • Lukas

    For context, there’s a big movement in Switzerland that wants to get rid of the army’s airforce entirely (and there’s a vote coming up about whether Switzerland should replace its aging planes). Switzerland is so tiny, you can barely fly straight with an F/A-18 without entering neighboring territory. It’s a bit of a joke, really. So it actually makes sense for Switzerland to outsource this kind of stuff to France or Germany.

  • yons

    In this particular instance, it was actually for the best. Adding a bunch of trigger-happy fighter jet pilots wouldn’t have improved the outcome.

    • With all the training they go through, very few armed forces pilots in charge of multimillion dollar aircraft could be described as “trigger happy”.