The flight crew of a B777 mistakenly pressed a hijack warning button twice as their plane approached Manila airport, triggering full-scale security response.
The Saudi Arabian Airlines flight was met by security forces and moved to an isolated part of the airport.
According to reports in Manila, the airport requested verification of the emergency message – and the flight crew confirmed it twice. Whether this was done verbally or electronically is unclear.
The captain later told the control tower someone had accidentally pushed a button indicating that a hijack was in progress.
Later reports suggested the pilot had himself pushed the button and the airport was considering penalising the airline for it.
The plane was reportedly carrying pilgrims returning from the hajj pilgrimage in Mecca.
Written by Peter Needham