Transavia 737 diverts after praying man attempts cockpit break-in

Bene Riobó

A Boeing 737 operated by Transavia, a subsidiary of Air France-KLM, diverted after a man tried to force his way into the cockpit mid-flight shouting “Allah Akbar”, prompting heavy police response. The possibility of a terrorist hijack was ruled out.

The plane, a Boeing 737-800 registered as F-HTVF, was carrying out flight TO4118 from Paris Orly Airport (ORY) to Tunis Carthage International Airport (TUN) during the afternoon of January 24, 2019. About an hour and a half into the flight, as it was passing over Sardinia (Italy), it diverted to Nice Cote d’Azur Airport (NCE) in France.

The decision was taken after a man, who after praying in the aisle, attempted to enter the cockpit of the aircraft while shouting “Allah Akbar”. He then proceeded to batter the chief flight attendant, according to local media France Bleu.

Once the plane landed in Nice, the passenger was arrested by the gendarmes, not without resisting furiously and shouting “Allah Akbar” once more.

Identified as a Tunisian citizen in his thirties, he was immediately taken into custody. However, “after medical examination, his health condition led to lifting custody in the prospect of forced hospitalization in a psychiatric facility,” said the prosecutor of Nice, Jean-Michel Prêtre, quoted by Le Parisien.

The rest of the passengers spent the night in Nice, before continuing their trip on the morning of January 25, 2019.

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