A pilot died at the controls of his plane’s cockpit after suffering from a massive heart attack mid-flight.
Up to 220 passengers were said to be on board the Saudi Arabian Airlines flight SV 1734 when the plane’s captain Waleed bin Mohammed Al-Mohammed died mid-journey.
According to reports, the aircraft had left Bisha airport in Asir in southwest Saudi Arabia as normal last night and headed for King Khalid International Airport in the capital Riyadh.
But just a few minutes before landing during the two hour flight, the co-pilot radioed a state of emergency after his colleague passed out at the controls.
Saudi Arabian Airlines director of professional performance Saleh Bin Nasser Al-Jasser praised the actions of the co-pilot Rami Ben Ghazi, who took command of the aircraft.
It was reported that Mr Ghazi radioed for an ambulance and medical staff to receive the plane while he landed the twin engined jet single handedly.
According to Saudi Arabian Airlines statement that the plane and passengers were never at any risk.
They said the co-pilot worked “meticulously and in a professional manner” and that passengers were not told about the incident until the plane had safely reached its gate.
The airline has offered its condolences to the family of Mr Al-Mohammed and his colleagues and all employees.