Narrative:A passenger hijacked Azerbaijan Airlines flight 254 while the plane was on a domestic trip between Nakhichevan and Baku. The hijacker claimed to be armed with a hand grenade and a bottle of flammable liquid. He demanded that the Tu-154 aircraft, with 164 passengers, be flown to Istanbul, Turkey, where he wanted to visit a hospitalized Azeri political leader. The hijacker agreed to the pilot's recommendation to refuel in Tbilisi, Georgia. While the plane was still in Azeri airspace, however, the hijacker was overpowered by two Ministry of National Security officials who were on the plane. The plane landed in Baku, and the hijacker was arrested. He did not have a grenade but reportedly carried two bottles - one containing kerosene and the other an unidentified liquid.
The hijacker was identified as the chairman of the Nakhichevan branch of the opposition Musavat Party. A number of the hijacker's largely political demands, including postponing parliamentary elections until December, were printed in an opposition newspaper the following day. Several days after the hijacking, the editor-in-chief of this paper was arrested and charged with terrorism for having maintained contacts with the hijacker. Documents relating to the hijacking were reportedly in his apartment. The hijacker, however, claimed to have acted alone.
Hijacker(s) overpowered by occupants
» Criminal Acts Against Civil Aviation 2000 / 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 Nakhichevan Airport to Baku-Bina International Airport as the crow flies is 414 km (259 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.