Created by George Kay and Jim Field Smith, Apple TV+’s thriller series ‘Hijack’ revolves around the hijacking of KA29, a Kingdom Airlines flight that travels from Dubai to London. After the flight’s departure from Dubai, multiple hijackers who got into the flight as passengers take control of the flight by threatening the pilot of the same. The series progresses through a corporate negotiator named Sam Nelson’s efforts to get into the heads of the hijackers to ensure the safety of himself, other passengers, and crew members on the flight. Intrigued by the fate of KA29, we found out whether Kingdom Airlines is a real company. Here’s what we can share about the same!
Is Kingdom Based on a Real Airplane Company?
No, Kingdom is not based on a real airplane company. Although an airplane company of the same name existed in the United Kingdom between 2017 and 2019, the same doesn’t have any connection with the company seen in ‘Hijack.’ The dissolved company’s possibly only operation was freight air transport. Since the same didn’t apparently own any passenger flights, the company cannot be the one that’s seen in the thriller series. Furthermore, Kingdom seems like a Middle East-based airline company in the series and there isn’t any prominent company with the same name based in the region.
Creators George Kay and Jim Field Smith must have modeled Kingdom after Emirates, one of the largest airline companies, if not the largest, based in the Middle East. The airline company is the face of the United Arab Emirates on the international scene and it is also one of the two flag carriers of the West Asian country. Considering the popularity of Emirates, Kay and Smith must have decided to conceive the fictional Kingdom with the former company in mind to make it more authentic and rooted in reality.
Another significant similarity between Kingdom and Emirates is their names. The word “emirates” means, according to Cambridge Dictionary, “a country or state ruled by an emir,” another name for a Muslim ruler. Similarly, “kingdom” means the region ruled by a king. This unignorable similarity further adds weight to the possibility that Kingdom is modeled after Emirates. However, the same similarity is the first and last thing that connects both companies. Kingdom is not even a fictional counterpart of Emirates. Irrespective of the similarity, Flight KA29 is not based on any airplanes of the UAE-based airline company. To be clear, an Emirates flight was never hijacked similar to the hijacking of KA29 that happens in the series.
Although Kingdom is a fictional company, Kay and Smith’s attention to detail makes it represent any international airline company. It serves people from different nationalities and cultural backgrounds like any other airline. This heterogeneity becomes significant in the narrative as the series follows the psyche of different passengers following the hijacking.