Narrative:An Iraqi armed with what was described as "a large knife" hijacked Qatar Airways flight 404. The plane, an Airbus A300 aircraft with 131 passengers and 11 crew members, was en route from Doha, Qatar, to Amman, Jordan. The hijacking occurred as the plane was beginning its descent into Amman. The hijacker demanded that the plane land in Saudi Arabia and threatened to blow up the aircraft. The hijacker had unsuccessfully sought asylum in Qatar and was being returned to Jordan by Qatari authorities. As Jordan routinely deports any Iraqi who arrives without proper documentation, the hijacker feared being sent back to Iraq. Unsure whether the hijacker held a bomb, the pilot declared an emergency and landed at Hail, Saudi Arabia, where the hijacker peacefully surrendered to authorities. There were no injuries to anyone on the plane. The hijacker said that all he had was a "wooden stick, a comb, and a piece of broken mirror." The Qatar Airways flight continued on to Amman, and the hijacker was returned to Doha.
The hijacker stood trial in Qatar and on October 31 was sentenced to serve five years in prison. According to the hijacker's lawyer, he committed his act to draw attention to the plight of Iraqis under U.N.-imposed sanctions.
» 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 Doha International Airport to Amman-Queen Alia International Airport as the crow flies is 1670 km (1044 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.