Invading Switzerland? Try Before 8 or After 5

Swiss Air Force aerobatics team members practise routine in Lugano, Switzerland.

Want to invade Switzerland? Here’s a tip: strike outside office hours.

When an Ethiopian Airlines Enterprise aircraft carrying 202 passengers entered Swiss airspace last month after being hijacked by the co-pilot en route to Rome, Switzerland’s Air Force remained on the ground. That’s because the incident occurred outside normal office hours. Instead, French and Italian fighter jets escorted the Boeing 767 to a safe landing in Geneva.

“You have a budget and you have to prioritize,” said Swiss Air Force spokesman Juerg Nussbaum. While Switzerland monitors airspace around the clock, intervention only occurs during routine business hours starting at 8 a.m., he said.

The Guardian: There’s something almost too civilised about a country whose fighter jets stick to office hours (note to would-be terrorists and airspace infiltrators: they also stop for an hour and a half for lunch, and there’s no service at weekends).



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