A hostage situation involving an EgyptAir A320 that was hijacked and forced to divert to Larnaca airport on the south coast of Cyprus is over after the hijacker was seen walking down the steps of the aircraft with his hands raised. .
Flight MS181, carrying 56 passengers and6 crew from Alexandria to Cairo,was taken over mid air after a passenger said he was wearing an explosives belt.
"The pilot said that a passenger told him he had an explosives vest and forced the plane to land in Larnaca," the Egyptian civil aviation ministry said in a statement.
The Cypriot president insisted that the hijack was not terrorism-related.
Specualtion is that the Egyptian man – named by Cypriot officials as Seif Eldin Mustafa – wanted to talk to his estranged Cypriot wife, or perhaps instead he was seeking the release of female prisoners in Egypt.
The hijacker's surrender came shortly after several people were seen fleeing the aircraft. One – apparently a crew member – escaped by climbing out of the aircraft's cockpit window.