A “Code Renegade” alert recently set Greek aviation authorities on high alert following a warning issued by a NATO air control center in Torrejón, Spain. Code Renegade is a distress signal typically used in a hijacking situation. In this case, the code was issued after a Middle Eastern Airlines (MEA) flight bound for Beirut failed to answer calls and went into complete radio silence.
After repeated attempts to speak to the aircraft’s captain, authorities began to worry about the plane’s safety status, which eventually caused Greek air defense to scramble two F-16 fighter jets from Souda to intercept the unresponsive civilian airliner over Argolida in the northeastern Peloponnese.
Lebanon-based aircraft tracker InterSky, took to Twitter to report the details of the unfolding situation:
“Code Renegade set Greek authorities on alert following a relevant signal by the NATO air control center in Spain (CAOC Torrejón), to intercept a non-responsive civil aircraft Airbus A321 with 145 passengers onboard that had taken off from Madrid and was bound for Beirut.”
In a further twist to the story, contact was eventually reestablished with the aircraft, after which it was revealed that the MEA pilot, Abed Al-Hout, was the son of Mohammed Al-Hout, chairman of the board of directors of Middle East Airlines. The chairman has previously received criticism for employing relatives at various levels of the company, and in this instance, his son had failed to set the communication instruments to the correct frequency, resulting in radio silence.
The news is a further embarrassing blow for Middle East Airlines, which has recently lost over 20% of staff to other airlines, as Lebanon’s financial crisis continues to deepen.
Abu Dhabi’s Hub71 To Help Climate Technology Startups
The initiative was announced at the COP28 summit and will help selected startups with a $200,000 cash injection and further incentives.
Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global technology system, has launched a new initiative to support climate technology startups backed by several of the UAE’s largest public and private sector organizations.
A total of 342 startups have submitted applications so far, with the top companies being added to a shortlist that will be revealed shortly. Selected startups will receive Dh250,000 ($68,000) in incentives and an upfront cash support package of Dh250,000. In addition, the top performers of Hub71’s new initiative will also receive a top-up of up to Dh250,000 in exchange for additional equity.
Ahmad Alwan, deputy chief executive of Hub71, said: “This initiative aims to bring in different entities that have a shared mission towards climate tech […] Throughout the journey, we will support these companies, not only from being startups to becoming mature companies but also to facilitate their engagement with entities that would support them with access to capital, market, and talent”.
The Hub71+ ClimateTech ecosystem is backed by the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company and the National Central Cooling Company, who have each pledged Dh500,000 to the initiative as anchor partners.
They are joined by corporate partners, including Abu Dhabi holding company ADQ, Aldar Properties, sovereign wealth fund Mubadala, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Masdar City, and Dubai’s Emirates NBD. In addition, Siemens Energy is also onboard as an anchor partner.
So far, Hub71 has helped 260 member startups and created over 1,000 jobs, according to the organization’s website. In addition, it has collectively raised around Dh5 billion since its foundation in 2019.