welcome. if you're just joining us, you're watching al jazeera live. we're bringing you live coverage of that live aircraft hijacking situation taking place on the apron there. it was a320 onan internal domestic flight. at some point during that flight a hijacker, singular, not plural so far as we know, either forced his way into the cock pick or he let it be known. that's a picture of the
individual. he is also an egyptian national. that is, obviously, somebody who has taken their smart phone and put it up above the head rest down towards the front of the cabin. you can see in the left is the security screen. behind that curtain um find the cockp cockpit. he has asked for a translator and political asylum. there were contradictory reports initially, anything between 50 and 80 people on board the plane. most of those people were allowed to disembark the aircraft, women and children first. then we had another report saying it was men women and children and then a following report saying that several americans and several british people were kept on board the aircraft. the latest news we have is that
there are sometime five non-egyptians on the board together with cabin crew and flight crew. the crucial piece of information vis-a-vis what happened actually on board the aeroplane when it was my jacked, the pilot or the co pilot didn't have enough time to send out of a squawk 7750, a message that the pilot chooses to send out. it is not a may day or the aircraft saying we have a technical issue we're going to crash, we have a catastrophic decompression. it is very specifically, and everyone knows this, 7500 means we are being highjacked. it landed there about an hour and ten minutes ago. it has been parked up in a secure isolated contained part of the airport well inside, of course, the perimeter phenomenon. the security there very-- fence.
the secure there very tight. >> reporter: he asked for a translator. this is one of the latest bits of information that has emerged. it seems that it has been resolved in the release of most of the passengers on board the aircraft. we're led to understand although it is not yet clear that these are the demands, that he is requesting political asylum and his identity has been released. he is an egyptian national. this is the latest information that we have emerging. we do not yet know if the person was armed. initially he seems to have told the crews, the people on board
that he was wearing ann ex-employee sieves belt. these negotiations are taking place at an isolated and more secure part of the airport, which remains shut to any other traffic at the moment. the first information that we have from the authorities is that they are optimistic that this many end well simply because in this short amount of space so many of the passengers have already been released and they have managed to establish communication with the hijacker. the translation issue remains a problem. it will probably be solved very sppm. we will find out more about what this is-- very soon. we will find out more in time to
come hard to find out about these people, but if you release men, women and children, i guess what he is saying he is not an evil person who wants to blow up a plane and take this in a worse direction than it is going, but i do have a line in the sand and i do want to talk to people because i do have demands that i want to be met. >> reporter: it seems more of a call to be taken seriously. if he is requesting political asylum, it would probably help him more to try and be as diplomatic as possible, to see how much he can get. these negotiations have now been going on for a while. we, obviously, don't have immediate access to the information and authorities in cyprus are being cautious about
the information that they are releasing so far, but certainly negotiations are underway and that so many of the passengers have been released and leads us to think that at least some positive steps have been achieved thanks very much. we bring in an aviation specialist. i understand you're close to the airport perimeter fence. what's going on there? >> i'm about 150 metres away from the air bus. there is nothing going on there, no traffic at all. everything looks silent at the moment. the wife of the hijacker is coming, but at the moment there's nothing at all the wife of the hijacker is
cypriat. does he live in cyprus? >> yes so the police will be wanting to talk to her and members of his family. >> they went to pick her up, but i haven't seen any sort of traffic yet. i'm not sure when she will be arriving here the entire area is in lock down until she gets there because, presumably, what they will want to do by way of securing the safe release of the people who are still on board that plan, they will want to get him to talk to his wife. >> yes. that's what his demand was.
he was demanding that a message get sent to his wife to speak with her or get in touch with her the area is in lock down and the airport is closed. that negotiation process very much ongoing. what is the security like there, not just specifically now, but hour to hour, day-to-day? >> security is very tight. it has been like this since november. as i mentioned previously after the paris attacks thanks for that. we will talk to you later i suspect. we have our middle east analyst here. you're on a domestic flight and you want to get on to a domestic flight in egypt with an
explosive device. how did he manage it? >> that's a very important question. there are a couple of questions that we should ask about this incident. first, with all the security measures in egyptian airports, as well as the world airports, it's next to impossible to penetrate all these measures and to get on board. i'm not talking about the cargo, i'm talking about on board with explode si belt. that is if the hijacker claim is real. the second question is all flights, there are security trained, highly-trained security guys on each and every flight. they are trained to deal with these situations and also to verify if the hijacker is
bluffing or is talking the truth about having a gun or weapons or explosives just to interrupt you, on that one point, if one gets onto an egypt aeroplane on board every flight that that carrier takes off with there will be somebody who is primarily a security officer as opposed to being an airline employee or are we talking about a member of the cabin crew who has special train? >> no. a highly trained security person, sometimes on big airliners there are three or four according to the size of the airliner. so at least there is one security guy, highly trained, to verify and to find out whether the hijacker is making a bluff or talking the truth. so they missed that security guy
on that flight and why. also it seems from the picture linked to the hijacker and the limited information, the little information that is available now, the young man, he doesn't have any political history, he doesn't have a criminal record. he is just, it seems, at this point, that he is just a normal young egyptian guy. it's another big question, question mark. why did he do something like that >> some is he really after political asylum? he doesn't know that by such behaviour, such act, he is actually seeking asylum? these are all question marks that need to be answered we will get into those questions.
to my next guest, i know you have been trying to talk to passengers, or you have been talking to them. they look basically okay. what's their story? i think we have lost him. back to our correspondent. if you're on a flight belonging to egyptair, some place, wearing civilian clothes, are some specifically trained security officer and that person, in a sense i guess, must have missed the boat on this one. if that person is on the plane and there is somebody else who might have some sort of explosive device on their person, how does that work? >> reporter: exactly. questions that the egyptian
security services will have to answer. there has been a precedent just a few months ago, a russian plane that took off from the egyptian airport in sharm el-sheikh that blew up in air. i.s.i.l. took responsibility for that attack. egyptian authorities call it an act of terrorism, but definitely they were criticized for allowing those explosives to get on board that aircraft, and now you have a hijacker on board a plane, according to the pilot, this hijacker, has an explosive belt and that's why he forced to land. it raises lots of questions about security at the airport. we're getting more details now that according to cypriut television, he named the man responsible for the hijacking,
27-year-old egyptian, and also according to those reports this man is asking for political asylum. some reports suggests that he wanted to divert the plane to istanbul, but the pilot informed him that there wasn't enough fuel on board. we understand that negotiations are underway between this hijacker and authorities. negotiations have allowed for release of at least 56 people on board that plane. we understand that four foreigners, as well as the crew members, are still inside thanks very much for that update interesting when you were talking about political asylum. it is naive and innocent of
anyone you can assume to do what this man is doing on board in plane, claim political asylum, whenever it is, given the turkish government's reaction just now to people who don't originally come from turkey, they're never going to say yes to that. that is never going to go anywhere. >> no. not anywhere in the world. the same penetration happened as far as the russian airliner is concerned a few months ago, which actually the analogy doesn't exist. there's no way to make an analogy because we're talking specifically about certain and specific security measures which
is having a specialized security guy on board. that is a measure taken by the egyptian authorities for the last 20 years. for the last 20 years it has been the case. there has got to be security, highly trained security guys on board. we don't know what happened with the russian airliner because we don't know what the russian side has, whether they have trained guys on the airlines or not, but talking about egyptian flights i've seen it over the last 20 years. i wonder why if one has flown out of a major airport, at a time when
guns were not obvious, elal used to have security and they had the guys are the submachine guns and it made you feel on the one hand a little bit uncomfortable and anxious, but then you're feeling if i'm feeling uncomfortable people doing bad stuff, they wouldn't travel this way. when we come to write the definitive version of what this man is doing here, might it be simple as something that he doesn't have explosives with him, maybe he has something that looks like an explosive device. we're hearing about 3d printers. you could fold it in the toilets
and come out and say do what i'm telling you to do. >> that's right. again, where is the trained security guard. in this case it would have been more easy for the trained security guy to control him. also it seems to me that the man is living in the past because this hijacking, planned hijacking, have stopped. it seems that we are making a full back to the 60s and 70s and 80s. it is really a big question m k mark. thank you for that. let's talk to sean, an aviation commentator from the u.k. what's your reading as we speak? >> first of all, i think we should all be very happy that the aeroplane has landed safely and so far no damage has been
done to anybody. that's a very good start, if you like. there is one thing that i don't think has been mentioned very much, but according to the aviation herald, which is normally a very good source of aviation information on these occasions, the aircraft was actually short of its minimum required fuel when it arrived. it was intended to be flig alexandria to cairo, which is 30 minutes, and it had to fly 260 miles over the sea arriving with less fuel. those things have in the past led to a much worse outcome when we say a much worse outcome, are we saying that when this aircraft touched down, it was flying on vapors, flying on empty. there is a risk here that it might have ended up going into
the sea? tlichlt is a potential risk that it might have ended up going into the sea. i don't know this for sure, but the fact that it was less than the required minimum doesn't mean that it's necessarily in immediate danger. the required minimum is set with a big margin of error, if you like, so it's still perfectly staf at that stage, but if they had been going further, then that would have been dangerous explain to us the conversations that would have taken place between the flight deck and the tower when they knew they had this situation evolving second to second almost. >> of course, what we're hearing at the moment is that i keep seeing this phrase "the man with the suicide belt talked to the pilot". he might have talked to the pilot on the interphone, but i
doubt if he was on the flight deck. i imagined they would have kept the flight deck security. we've seen this problem in the past, that those doors are almost impossible to breakdown. i suppose the pilot mooift let him onto the flight deck. i also hear that the aircraft did not put out this so-called squawk, the 17500 code which says "i am being highjacked". the captain or the first officer, whoever does the communications, can select 7500 on their machine and that will tell the air traffic control authorities that they are being highjacked. i'm told that that didn't happen. it suggests that the captain, or whoever was flying it, that it would have been the captain's decision, of course, after some conversation probably with his cabin crew, was able to talk to air traffic control and tell
them what was going on. that's how i read the story at the moment there is a picture here, weaned can see him standing at what looks like the front of the aircraft. when you talk about that interphone conversation, that's the phone that's on the bulk head immediately in front of door 1, so somebody would have said, you can't really get onto the flight deck, but you can talk to the pilot, so at that point the member deemed this to be a real clear present threat to which they had to react, and also just to be clear on this point, there are ways and means that the cabin crew are trained very specifically how to deal with this kind of situation. they know who to talk to, they know what to do and they know
how to do it. >> certainly there is training for cabin crew in all what you say. on the day when faced with an emergency nobody knows how they will respond, but that's what training is for. they say train hard, fight easy, and if they've had all the proper training, then they would have known what to do. i'm making a lot of assumptions here. it may not have happened like that at all. i'm just saying that physically it would be impossible, almost impossible anyway, for him to get onto the flight deck until the flight deck crew agreed to that. i think it's more likely that he was talking from down the back, but who knows thanks very much. going back to the journalist from the capital. get us right up to speed. what's going on right now?
>> well, the plane is still at the end of the airway. all passengers have been cleared, minus the four non-egyptian civilians, and they have been cleared away. they have been moved to the old airport location, which is nearby, and i hear that at president sisi have denied communication until this ordeal ends. we're still waiting to see the reaction of the hijacker there was at one point several americans on board and
some of the u.k., they were allowed to be taken off and presumably taken through a debrief process. do we know the fashlt of the four people who are still on board the aircraft along with the six or seven crew members-- nationality? >> i haven't had confirmation on that the entire area must be in a state of lock down. >> it is. all the pictures we're getting from outside the airport, the fences, which the police have created a shield, not allowing anyone to come through we are also told 15/20 minutes ago that his wife, the authorities have found her location, she was in a car
heading to the airport. do we know if she has arrived? >> i haven't had confirmation on that yet. she must still be on the way. it takes about half an hour/40 minutes to get to the terminal. that's what i heard, it is her ex-wife, a cypriat. he wants to speak with her. she is heading over now and hopefully she will be able to help in any negotiation if anyone is speculating about in, why is there requirement for a translation service required? >> we have a lot of people living here and they get by with
english because english is widely spoken here the island is something of either a jumping off point for international flights or you can inter line through cyprus. some of the carriers, i noticed, look at their web sides, they do this thing where if you fly with a cheaper airline, you get cheaper stays. is there any brother about transiting through that immediate area now? >> all flights have been redirect
redirected there might be some sort of cordon around the airport, around the plane, but is there a wider area that is sealed off because i suppose the authorities have no deal with the worst case scenario. they have to assume the threat is real, the hijacker does have an explosive device and if he detonates that, that could be a really bad situation >> some of the areas have been closed off. the ones adjacent to the airport runway, and a few shops have been not allowed access at the moment p. that's hospitality businesses on the beach right next to the
airport. they are advising people to avoid that area for now thank you for that. you've really kind of identified here the potential security issues for us. we will talk to you in just a second, actually, because we've been told we've managed to get through an officer who works with the media service. you've got on to some of the passengers? >> we haven't spoke to any passengers. we are at the north part of the airport where the passengers have managed to be free outside. from what we know, and this is the information that hasn't been confirmed yet [indistinct] is
that people of egyptian nationality have been let off the plane. this hasn't been confirmed. we cannot confirm anything because the authorities are [indistinct] information is really very slow coming through we winding by an hour or two, it did seem that at that point the relevant government ministers and the relevant agencies, because, of course, this will be aaj