The Egypt Air Love Story


The Egypt Air Love Story

Illustration: Namaah/ Arré


he morning of March 29 started off on quite a sombre note, as news trickled in of yet another commercial airliner getting hijacked. Details were sketchy. Egypt Air Flight MS181 had been forcibly diverted from Cairo to Cyprus, and the scuttlebutt said that the hijacker was wearing a suicide belt. By now, possible terror attacks are announced so often that we all respond on autopilot. I jumped onto Twitter, ignoring my scheduled tasks for the day in favour of the vicarious thrill of yet another breaking news story. A friend who covers foreign affairs pinged me on Facebook, and we discussed the sobering possibility that this might be a repeat of last year’s Metrojet bombing, when a homemade bomb brought down a Russian airliner over Egypt’s Sinai desert.

We sat and waited for the now familiar script to play itself out, bracing ourselves for a rising death toll, and secretly enjoying the tingle of excitement that all journalists feel in such situations, though most of them won’t admit that even to themselves.