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Volga-Dnepr returns ‘Landshut’ to Germany

FRIEDERICHSHAFEN, Germany. October 05, 2017. A former Lufthansa B737-200 aircraft, hijacked in 1977 by a faction of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine teorrist group, returned to Germany on September 23 for restoration and display at the Dornier Museum.

Landshut 2The aircraft, named after the Bavarian town of 'Landshut', was hijacked on October 13, 1977 en route from Palma, Majorca, to Frankfurt.

For the next four days the 86 passengers and crew were forced to travel to Rome, Cyprus, Bahrain, Dubai and Aden before arriving in Mogadishu, Somalia where German special forces rescued all but the pilot Jurgen Schumann, who had been murdered in Aden during a re-fueling stop.

The Boeing eventually returned to Lufthansa service until September 1985 when it was sold to U.S. carrier Presidential Airways and ultimately to Brazilian airline TAF Linhas Aéreas.

Eventually left to rot in a corner of Fortaleza Airport in northeastern Brazil, earlier this year the German Foreign Ministry purchased the aircraft for €20,500 and last month Volga-Dnepr Airlines shipped its fuselage, wings, engines and ancillary equipment to Germany on AN-124-100 and IL-76TD90-VD freighters.

Volga-Dnepr Airlines general director Mikhail Smirnykh, said his company was extremely proud to have been chosen to bring the aircraft home to Germany.

"It is a symbol of the nation's commitment to never bow down to terrorism. For us this is an especially poignant project to be supporting because our own company witnessed the tragic consequences of terrorism two years ago when six of our colleagues resting between flights lost their lives when armed militants stormed a hotel in Mali.

"Bringing this Boeing 737 home is, therefore, very meaningful to us and we share and support everything it stands for," he added.

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