Saudi plane leaves NAIA runway after false distress call


Posted at Sep 20 2016 06:59 PM

The Saudi Arabian Airlines Flight 872 has left the runway of Ninoy Aquino International Airport, hours after its pilot made a distress call by mistake.

The flight came from Jeddah and landed in Manila 3:00 p.m. Passengers deplaned past 5:00 p.m.

Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Eddie Villanueva Monreal said the pilot made a 'distress' call by mistake.

"Unintentionally pushed but the problem it was pushed twice," Monreal told reporters, noting that the captain "will be a subject of cross evaluation or questioning."

"Situation is normal. It was alleged that the pilot pressed the emergency light of the aircraft unintentionally," Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde told reporters.

In Saudi Arabia, an airline spokesman said there was no security threat.

"False alarm for hijack for Flight 872," the spokesman said.

Manila airport spokesman Connie Bungag earlier released a statement saying the control tower received advice that the plane was "under threat" as it was 32 kilometers (20 miles) from landing.

She said authorities had implemented standard security operating procedures.

-- With reports from Agence France-Presse