Michael O’Leary, general director of the Irish airline Ryanair, called the plane’s landing in Minsk a “deliberate hijacking” and the Belarusian authorities’ justifications a lie.
The head of the company sent a letter to the Aviation Department of Belarus and called the incident a deliberate hijacking, according to the Wall Street Journal. He claims that the Belarusian side did not try to contact Ryanair, the dispatchers refused to do this even after the request of the aircraft commander.
After landing in Minsk, according to the director general, the airport staff prevented the flight from being resumed as soon as possible – they refused to refuel the plane and accept payment for fuel by credit card. An interpreter was not provided either. The passengers’ luggage was checked with the help of dog handlers, but the X-ray irradiation procedure was not carried out before loading it.
In his message, the head of Ryanair called for the release of the detained and then arrested passenger, Roman Protasevich, and the identification of three passengers who left the plane in Belarus. According to the Belarusian president, they “got off the plane in order not to return from Vilnius later.” But who then took their luggage off the plane?
The International Civil Aviation Organization has launched a detailed investigation into the incident, the results of which are expected on June 25.