Arab News – Conflicting claims have emerged on the incident involving a Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) plane sending a distress call at the Manila airport on Tuesday.
The incident created controversy and disturbed the flight operations, besides sending the Manila airport staff into a tizzy.
According to reports in the Philippine media, the civil aviation authorities in Manila are investigating real reasons behind the incident.
The captain of the aircraft has said that the button indicating a hijacking was pushed accidentally.
The Philippine aviation police were questioning the plane’s crew as aviation experts suggested that some incident inside the plane might have created an alarm. However, this claim has not been confirmed by authorities.
The Philippine aviation authorities were quoted by a website as saying that all numbers of the distress code have to be entered individually to activate the distress signal, and what was received indicated there was a hijack threat. It said the captain made the distress signal twice to the control tower of the Manila airport.
A Flynas pilot downplayed the incident. “In such emergencies, Saudi Arabian Airlines does not give any statements until it discusses the matter with the pilots concerned,” he said.
Another pilot did not rule out the possibility of a minor mistake by entering a wrong alarm code, because such codes change continuously.


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