Narrative:On December 24, 1999, Indian Airlines flight 814 was hijacked while en route to Delhi (DEL) from Kathmandu (KTM). About 30 minutes after takeoff a passenger armed with a pistol stood up and announced that the plane was being hijacked. Four other men wearing red masks then stood up and took positions throughout the aircraft. The hijackers demanded to be flown to Lahore, Pakistan. Authorities, however, refused to allow the plane to land. With the plane low on fuel, the crew was forced to fly to Amritsar-Raja Sansi Airport (ATQ), India. The hijackers demanded that the aircraft be refueled and threatened to harm passengers if this was not done. One passenger was killed about this time, apparently for failing to follow the hijackers’ instructions. Indian authorities refused to provide the fuel that had been demanded. The plane departed and was flown to Lahore Airport (LHE) in Pakistan, but authorities closed the airport to keep the plane from landing. The pilot told the control tower, however, that the plane would crash if not given permission to land and he made an emergency landing. The hijackers demanded food, water, and fuel, all of which were provided. The aircraft departed Lahore and was flown to Kabul Airport (KBL), Afghanistan, but was unable to land because there were no night landing facilities. The plane then flew on to Muscat, Oman, but authorities refused permission to land. The plane was then taken to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where permission to land at Dubai Airport was also refused. The pilot, however, was directed to al-Minhar Air Base, located in a remote area of Dubai, and landed there on December 25. Twenty-seven passengers were subsequently released in exchange for food and fuel. The aircraft then was flown to Kandahar Airport (KDH), Afghanistan, arriving on December 26, and stayed there for the remainder of the hijacking. In Kandahar the hijackers issued their demands. They demanded that India release Maulana Masood Azhar, a Pakistani leader of the Kashmiri separatist group Harakut-ul-Mujahidin, who was imprisoned in India. The hijackers also demanded the release of 35 other jailed guerrillas, USD 200 million, and the release of the body of a slain Kashmiri separatist. On December 26, a United Nations official arrived to mediate between the hijackers and Indian authorities following a request by the ruling Taliban forces. On December 27 the hijackers announced a deadline and threatened to kill passengers if their demands were not met. Negotiations between the hijackers and Indian diplomats continued through December 29. The hijackers eventually dropped their demands for the ransom and for the release of the prisoners. In return, India agreed to exchange three prisoners for the safe return of the aircraft and passengers. On the afternoon of December 31, the passengers and crew were released and flown to Delhi. Meanwhile, the Taliban had given the hijackers ten hours to leave Afghanistan. The five hijackers departed with a Taliban hostage to ensure their safe passage and were reported to have left Afghanistan.
» Criminal Acts Against Civil Aviation 1999 / FAA, Office of Civil Aviation Security
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from Kathmandu-Tribhuvan Airport to Delhi-Indira Gandhi International Airport as the crow flies is 810 km (506 miles).
This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.