Air New Zealand Flight 24
Air New Zealand Boeing 747-200 similar to the one involved in the hijacking.
|Date||19 May 1987|
|Site||Nadi International Airport, Fiji|
|Injuries (non-fatal)||1 (Hijacker)|
|Aircraft type||Boeing 747-200|
|Operator||Air New Zealand|
|Flight origin||Tokyo Narita International Airport|
|Stopover||Nadi International Airport|
|Destination||Auckland International Airport|
Air New Zealand Flight TE24 was hijacked on the tarmac during a scheduled refueling stop in Nadi, Fiji. It was en route from Tokyo to Auckland from Tokyo. In Nadi, an employee of Air Terminal Services named Ahmjed Ali boarded the aircraft and said that he would blow up the aircraft unless the deposed Fijian prime minister, Dr. Timoci Bavadra, and his 27 ministers who were being held under house arrest, were released. The crew of the aircraft were eventually able to overpower Ali and hand him over to local police. There were no injuries or deaths reported, and the aircraft never left the tarmac.
Flight TE24 was en route to Auckland from Tokyo when it made a scheduled refuelling stop in Nadi. TE24 was standing on the tarmac refueling when Ahmjed Ali, armed with dynamite explosives from a gold mine, boarded the aircraft. Ahmjed Ali, then aged 37, an ethnic Indian who worked for Air Terminal Services, entered the flight deck and told to the captain that he was carrying dynamite and would blow up the aircraft if his demands were not met.
Using the plane's radio, he demanded the release of the deposed Fijian prime minister, Dr. Timoci Bavadra, and his 27 ministers who were being held under house arrest by rebel leader Lt. Col. Sitiveni Rabuka in the 1987 Fijian coups d'état. Ali also demanded to be flown to Libya.
All 105 passengers and 21 of the 24 crew disembarked. Captain Graham Gleeson, flight engineer Graeme Walsh, and first officer Michael McLeay remained with Ali in the cockpit. For six hours, Ali talked with relatives in the Nadi tower and Air New Zealand negotiators in Auckland.
At around 1 p.m., while Ali was distracted with the radio, flight engineer Graeme Walsh hit him with a bottle of whisky. The crew members were able to overpower Ali and handed him over to local police. He received a suspended sentence for taking explosives onto an aircraft.
The aircraft was a Boeing 747-219B delivered to Air New Zealand around 1982 when the Boeing 747 was part of the airlines fleet until it was scrapped a few years after the hijacking.