Hijack mail - 1974 BA870 Hijack: 18-11-1974 airmail commercial cover on [British] Midland Bank stationary, from LIVERPOOL (Great Britain) to PERTH (Australia), meter franked by red Midland Bank machine slogan mark at the period 10p overseas letter rate (for Zone C, ½ ounce letter).
This letter was part of a shipment of mail originating in the UK between 16-20 Nov. & carried by British Airways flight 870, en-route to BRUNEI via CALCUTTA (India) & SINGAPORE when it was hjacked on the evening of 21 Nov. by 4 members of the Abu Nidal Organization while refuelling in DUBAI; it was then re-routed to TRIPOLI (Libya; Lebanon refused entry to Beirut); after refuelling, it flew to TUNIS (22 Nov) where 1 passenger was executed (23 Nov) following an ultimatum deadline; the next day 5 terrorists from Cairo + 2 from Holland joined the aircraft & hostages were released (45-46 on board), leaving 3 crewmen + 11 terrorists on board, who threatened to blow plane up; lacking external political support & deadlines passing, the hijackers surrendered on the morning of 25 Nov. The plane left TUNIS the next day & returned to UK with 2.5 tons of mail, where it was forwarded to its destination on the next available BA flight, ultimately arriving in Australia about a week after the original due date.
Less than 50 items are known stamped with an official hijacking informational marking (uniquely at PERTH Post Office), of which 34 were marked with the 2-line K-Type-II "DELAYED EN ROUTE | AIRCRAFT HI-JACK" instructional marking, as on this cover. The mail was delivered to PERTH general post office on 29 Nov. where the IM was applied, and the mail delivered on 2 Dec. (based on Kibble research). This is the only business-commercial cover from this event illustrated in Kibble.
Product Tags: United Kingdomian,British, Australian, Emiri,Emiratian, Libyan, Tunisian Philately - Postal Covers, Terror & Hijack Mail and Postal History from United Kingdom, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Libya, Tunisia and from 20th Century, 1970s which are Philately - significant cachets & postal markings, Philately - Air Mail, Philately - Significant Route, Object Related Specifically to a Personality or Key Event