Typhoons scrambled to Stansted to intercept Air India plane after ‘bomb threat’
RAF Typhoons were scrambled today to intercept an Air India flight after a reported bomb threat was made.
The plane was travelling from Mumbai to Newark in the US when it was forced to make what is being described as a "precautionary landing" at Stansted Airport.
Air India said in a tweet that a bomb threat had prompted the landing, according to the BBC. But the tweet was later deleted and replaced with a post calling the incident a "security threat".
Essex Police said: "An aircraft was diverted to Stansted Airport at around 9.50am today following reports of a security alert. The plane is currently at the airport and officers are making enquiries."
The runway has now been reopened and the airport said in a statement: "Our runway is fully operational following a precautionary landing of Air India flight.
"We are sorry for any disruption caused by the incident and would like to thank you for your patience."
An Air India official later confirmed the incident was a hoax and that the plane was once again airborne.
@BBCNews any idea why there are typhoons flying round Stansted? No commercial flights in or out!! pic.twitter.com/8k56vQNY4A
— Connor Gaines (@connorbu4cher) June 27, 2019
A loud bang reported by several residents of Derby on social media has been linked to the unscheduled landing of the Air India Boeing 777 flight at Stansted.
The noise was believed to be a sonic boom caused by the two RAF jets escorting the plane into the airport.
Residents first reported hearing the noise just after 10am today.
The Ministry of Defence said: "The Typhoon aircraft were authorised to transit at supersonic speed to escort Air India plane for operational reasons."
The RAF in a statement said: "QRA Typhoons were launched this morning from RAF Coningsby to intercept a civilian ac. The aircraft was escorted to Stansted.
"The Typhoons transited at supersonic speed for operational reasons – any inconvenience caused to local residents is regretted."