The Hijacking of Flight 601′ on Netflix: Fact or Fiction? The Story Explored

By Louie Fecou
Published: April 11, 2024 (Last updated: last month)
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Is The Hijacking of Flight 601 based on a true story?
Is The Hijacking of Flight 601 | Image via Netflix

Anybody who has ever flown on a plane has considered the possibility of something going wrong, and The Hijacking of Flight 601 is built around that fear. The Netflix series is based on the true story of the longest aerial hijacking in Latin American history, embellishing the details for the sake of drama but burning that essential anxiety for fuel across six episodes.

Is The Hijacking of Flight 601 based on a true story?

Is The Hijacking of Flight 601 based on a true story?

Is The Hijacking of Flight 601 | Image via Netflix

The Hijacking of Flight 601 is inspired by real events that took place on May 30th, 1973, that led to the longest aerial hijacking in Latin American history.

Bizarrely, two Paraguayan soccer players would pose as terrorist guerrillas and hold Columbian Airline SAM Columbia HK-1274 to ransom for over five days, threatening the crew and eighty-two passengers, and making political demands for the release of fifty political prisoners convicted in El Socorro, Colombia.

The gunmen would threaten to blow the entire plane up if their demands were not met, demands that also included a cash ransom of two hundred thousand dollars.

To allow for re-fuelling and repairs, the plane would be diverted to various locations including Aruba, Central America, Argentina, Peru, and Ecuador. Along the way, various passengers were allowed to leave at each stop.

Finally, the plane would land at Buenos Aires, with no passengers left on board — but the two hijackers had already gone by this time. It was later reported that the two men did not have any real political affiliations and there did not seem to be any real desire for them to kill anyone.

The incident was recorded as being one of the longest airline hijackings in history.

What is The Hijacking of Flight 601 about?

The Netflix series follows the story of the real-life events but has been developed as a thriller for a modern TV audience.

Facts such as the two armed hijackers and their intentions are the springboard of the narrative, and as the tense and terrifying situation reveals itself, we see through the eyes of two stewardesses and the flight captain, who have to use all their resources to try and find a way to save the lives of the passengers on board and keep negotiations with the authorities on the ground open.

The series uses the facts from the real story and merges them with the characters in the show, and although a lot is heavily dramatized, much of what is presented has its roots in reality.

Who Directed The Hijacking of Flight 601?

The Hijacking of Flight 601 is directed by CS Prince and Pablo González. If those names sound familiar you may be remembering them from another true-life crime story adapted into a series called The Great Heist. That series explored the robbery of Colombia’s central bank in October 1994, when thieves made off with $33million.

It looks as if the success of that series allowed the directors to approach another similar property.

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