Eagle Airways Flight 2279

Infobox Airliner accident|name=Eagle Airways Flight 2279
Date=8 February, 2008
Site=New Zealand
Injuries= 3 (Pilot, copilot and a passenger)
Aircraft Type=BAe Jetstream 32
Origin=Woodbourne Airport, Blenheim, New Zealand
Destination=Christchurch International Airport, New Zealand
Operator=Eagle Airways
Tail Number= [http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20080208-0 ZK-ECN]
Ship Name=City of Rotorua
Passengers=7 (including one hijacker)
Survivors=9 (all)

Eagle Airways Flight 2279 was a commuter flight operated by Air National on behalf of Eagle Airways, a regional carrier division of Air New Zealand.cite news
title= Second pilot released from hospital after hijack attempt
url = http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/latest/200802101238/second_pilot_released_from_hospital_after_hijack_attempt
publisher= Radio New Zealand
date= 2008-02-10
] It was hijacked on 8 February, 2008 and was the first airline hijacking incident in New Zealand.


Ten minutes after takeoff, at about 7:40 am,cite news
title= Captain thankful of co-pilot's skills during mid-air drama
url = http://www.stuff.co.nz/4395081a11.html
publisher= Fairfax New Zealand
date= 2008-02-09
] the alleged hijacker attacked both of the pilots and demanded the plane be flown to Australia. One pilot was cut in the arm, the other in the leg. She also tried to wrestle the controls from the pilot. There were six other passengers (four New Zealanders, one Australian and one Indian) on board. One female passenger was also injured. The copilot managed to restrain her eventually. Police alleged the hijacker also mentioned having two bombs on board, but no explosives were found.cite news
title= NZ hijacker 'known to police'
url= http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/02/08/2158366.htm
publisher= ABC News
date= 2008-02-08
] The plane landed safely at Christchurch International Airport at 8.06am.cite news
title= Captain thankful of co-pilot's skills during mid-air drama
url = http://www.stuff.co.nz/4395081a11.html
publisher= Fairfax New Zealand
date= 2008-02-09

Alleged hijacker

Asha Ali Abdille, a 33-year-old living in Blenheim, New Zealand, originally a refugee from Somalia, was arrested after the plane landed.cite news
title= Minister reassures Somali community
url= http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0802/S00099.htm
publisher= Scoop
date= 2008-02-08

There were fears among the New Zealand Somali community that they would be branded terrorists. The government quickly stated "the government will not tolerate any racial or religious intolerance".

Abdille moved to New Zealand in 1994.cite news
title= Update: African woman held in NZ hijack
url= http://www.bangkokpost.com/breaking_news/breakingnews.php?id=125806
publisher= Bangkok Post
] TVNZ did an interview with her in 1996, where she said she is not coping with New Zealand society, and would like to go back to Somalia.cite news
title= Close Up on 8 February
url= http://tvnz.co.nz/view/tvone_minisite_story_skin/1575314%3fformat=html
publisher= Television New Zealand
date= 2008-02-08

On 1 March, 2005 , the then-Immigration Minister Paul Swain was questioned in Parliament regarding unrelated incidents whether he was confident that Abdille "is not a threat to the New Zealand community". The minister answered in the affirmative. [http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Debates/QOA/c/7/b/47HansQ_20050301_00000154-3-Immigration-Policy.htm Hansard 2005-03-01] ]


Abdille was charged with one count of attempted hijacking, one count of wounding one of the pilot with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and two counts of injuring with intent. She was remanded for a psychiatric report.cite news
first= John
last= Hartevelt
title= Hijack accused to get psychiatric evaluation
url= http://stuff.co.nz/4394966a10.html
publisher= Fairfax New Zealand
date= 2008-02-09
archiveurl= http://www.webcitation.org/5VTTJ5FWi
archivedate= 2008-02-09

On 22 February, 2008, Abdille was charged in the Christchurch District Court with a further 11 charges, including threatening to kill, possessing an offensive weapon, and taking a dangerous weapon onto an aircraft.


Christchurch International Airport was evacuated after the incident. Among those caught up were Transport Minister Annette King, Transport Safety Minister Harry Duynhoven and the England Cricket Team.cite news
title= Pilots stabbed in New Zealand plane hijack attempt
url= http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/world/pilots+stabbed+in+new+zealand+plane+hijack+attempt/1514657
publisher= Channel 4
date= 2008-02-08
] There is no security screening for domestic flights in New Zealand where there are fewer than 90 passengers. It is not immediately clear whether this will change in the future.


External links

* [http://www.airliners.net/open.file?id=1084166&size=L&width=1280&height=972&sok=&photo_nr=1 Airliners.net photos of the aircraft ZK-ECN]
* [http://www.stuff.co.nz/4457383a11.html Hand treatment grounds hero pilot]

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