Video: Air Europa pilot says sorry for false hijacking alarm

Schiphol airport, 29 Sept 2018
Schiphol airport, 29 Sept 2018Photo: Zachary Newmark / NL Times

The pilot of Air Europa flight 1094, which caused a massive fuss at Schiphol Airport on Wednesday evening when the pilot accidentally triggered a hijacking alarm, apologized to the passengers of the heavily delayed flight when it finally departed, according to a video one passenger recorded of the apology and posted on Twitter.

The flight to Madrid was scheduled to depart at 7:10 p.m. But the alarm triggered Schiphol's hijacking protocol. That sent emergency services of all kinds responding to the airport en masse. The flight's passengers and crew were evacuated from the plane and the D concourse was closed down for investigation. The Air Europa flight eventually departed at 11:28 p.m., according to the Schiphol website.

"I would like to apologize for the delay we are having today", the pilot said over the plane speakers as the flight was about to depart. He said they made a mistake and triggered the hijacking alarm. "I'm so sorry and I apologize for the delay again."

The pilot was giving instructions to a pilot-in-training when the hijacking alarm was accidentally triggered, Air Europa confirmed to NOS. No disciplinary action will be taken the pilot. "Why? There is absolutely nothing to blame him for. What else can we investigate", a spokesperson for the airline said. Air Europa considers the matter as settled. 

According to the spokesperson, the consequences of this error were limited. The plane departed with a significant delay, but the pilot said that there was no panic onboard. Passengers were watching movies despite overblown and unverified reports that the plane was being hijacked by men with knives.