INCIDENT | Ethiopian Airlines flight ET-3717 intercepted after hour-long radio silence


Ethiopian Airlines (EA) flight ET-3717 was intercepted by fighter aircraft flying over Greece after reportedly losing radio contact with multiple Air Traffic Control (ATC) centers for more than an hour.   

On October 15, 2022, flight ET-3717, operated by an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 767-300 freighter registered ET-ALO, began its journey from Liege, Belgium and was en route to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. However, following its crossover from Croatia's airspace, where it was in contact with Zagreb Center, radio contact with the aircraft was lost.

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Radio silence 

While the aircraft remained on its planned flight path (via Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania and into Greece), multiple calls were made by the various ATC centers as well as other aircraft to raise the crew on all available frequencies, including the International Guard Frequency. However, there was no answer at which point the Athens Center alerted that fighter aircraft would be scrambled to intercept the aircraft.

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More than an hour after communication was lost fighter aircraft intercepted flight ET-3717 over the Mediterranean Sea close to the border to Egypt, and the crew responded to communication with the Athens Center. The aircraft then proceeded to land at its destination in Addis Ababa with no further incidents recorded.  

No official cause has been reported concerning the extended period of radio silence and Ethiopian Airlines is yet to issue an official statement.

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