Thiruvananthapuram International Airport was on the national scene after the woman pilot of an Air-India Express flight from Abu Dhabi pressed the panic button, sending the signal of flight hijack.
The incident happened on October 19, 2012, when the Kochi-bound flight was diverted to Thiruvananthapuram owing to bad weather. When the pilot and other crew members started to leave the flight saying that their duty hours were over, the irate passengers registered their protest. Air-India officials tried to take them by bus to Kochi, which was rejected by the passengers.
The war-of-words between the passengers and Air-India staff resulted in some of the former entering the cockpit, which made the pilot, Rupali Waghmare, to send a code of an attempt to hijack the flight.
Later, the incident led to a police case and the passengers who were working in Gulf were summoned by the police and a case was registered. There was uncertainty over the return of the passengers to Gulf countries and later the state government intervened to withdraw the case, bringing the high voltage drama in Thiruvananthapuram over a couple of days to an end.