Volga-Dnepr Airlines has transported the ‘Landshut’ Lufthansa Boeing 737-200 which was hijacked by terrorists in 1977 back home to Germany.
The aircraft, named after the Bavarian town of Landshut, was hijacked on 13 October 1977 en route from Palma, Majorca, to Frankfurt.
It was forced to fly to Rome, Cyprus, Bahrain, Dubai and Aden before reaching Mogadishu, before a daring raid by German special forces ended the four day ordeal.
All 86 hostages were successfully freed but the pilot, Jurgen Schumann had already lost his life at the hands of the four terrorists before he could be rescued.
The 737-200 later returned to service and was sold, ultimately flying for Brazilian airline TAF Linhas, before being decommissioned in 2008, and since then it has been abandoned at Fortaleza Airport.
The German foreign ministry purchased the aircraft in order to bring it home, describing it as a living symbol of free society, and the 737 will be fully restored and placed on permanent display in the Dornier Museum in Friedrichshafen.
A large crowd of officials, former crew members, international media and aviation enthusiasts were on hand to see the AN-124-100 transport the fuselage and wings, and an IL-76TD-90VD carrying the engines and other components to the local airport in Friedrichshafen.
Volga-Dnepr Airlines general director, Mikhail Smirnykh says: “We are extremely proud to have been chosen to bring the Boeing 737 ‘Landshut’ home to Germany. It is a symbol of the nation’s commitment to never bow down to terrorism. Bringing this Boeing home is very meaningful to us as we share and support everything it stands for.”