When an Ethiopian Airlines Enterprise aircraft carrying 202 passengers entered Swiss airspace today after being hijacked by the co-pilot en route to Rome, Switzerland’s Air Force remained on the ground. That’s because the incident occurred outside normal office hours. Instead, French and Italian fighter jets escorted the Boeing 767 to a safe landing in Geneva.
“You have a budget and you have to prioritize,” said Swiss Air Force spokesman Juerg Nussbaum. While Switzerland monitors airspace around the clock, intervention only occurs during routine business hours starting at 8 a.m., he said.