The plane was forced to divert to Cyprus due to a man wearing a fake suicide belt.
The photograph, widely shared on Twitter, shows a man — Ben Innes — with a broad smile, standing next to a man who has what looks like an explosives belt around his waist.
The plane was carrying at least 55 passengers on an EgyptAir domestic flight from Alexandria to Cairo.
Most of those on board were freed shortly after the plane landed at Larnaca airport on the Mediterranean island on Tuesday morning, but the hijacker held seven people hostage for a number of hours before the incident came to a peaceful conclusion.
Mr Innes said: “I’m not sure why I did it, I just threw caution to the wind while trying to stay cheerful in the face of adversity.
“I figured if his bomb was real I’d nothing to lose anyway, so took a chance to get a closer look at it.
“I got one of the cabin crew to translate for me and asked him if I could do a selfie with him. He just shrugged OK so I stood by him and smiled for the camera while a stewardess did the snap. It has to be the best selfie ever.”
said Mr Innes texted his mother Pauline, and he added: “My mum was obviously frantic with worry and kept telling me not to do anything to draw attention to myself. I didn’t know how to tell her I’d already done a selfie with the hijacker.”
Mr Innes’s flatmate Chris Tundogan toldhe had “no idea” why his friend had the photograph taken, adding: “I find it pretty mental, but that’s just Ben I guess.”
said his mother Pauline did not want to discuss the incident until her son returns home safely. But she took issue with descriptions of the picture as “a selfie”.
“All we can say is that the picture is clearly not a selfie as everyone has been describing it,” she said. “You can clearly see that it is not Ben who is taking the picture. He’s in it but he’s not taking it.”