Typhoon jets scrambled to escort Ryanair flight to Stansted Airport was ‘suspected hoax security alert’
PUBLISHED: 10:03 04 October 2017 | UPDATED: 12:40 04 October 2017
RAF Typhoon jets were scrambled to escort a Ryanair flight to Stansted Airport this morning.
A spokesman for Ryanair said the security scare was a result of a ‘suspected hoax security alert’.
He said: “This flight from Kaunas to London Luton diverted to London Stansted in line with procedures after Lithuanian authorities received a suspected hoax security alert.
“The aircraft landed normally at Stansted and customers will be transferred to Luton by coach when cleared to do so.”
Essex Police stayed at the scene carrying out enquiries but they have since finished their investigation.
A spokesman said: “We have now completed enquiries after a plane was diverted to Stansted Airport and have not found anything suspicious.
A Ryanair flight from Kaunas, Lithuania to Luton Airport was diverted to Stansted following reports of a security alert.
“The plane landed safely at around 8.55am and passengers were safely brought off.
“Officers have carried out enquiries but nothing suspicious has been found.
“The runway was closed while the plane landed but was re-opened a short time later and services at the airport are running as usual.”
Chief Inspector Richard Phillibrown added: “We take all intelligence received regarding potential threats to public safety very seriously.
“The safety of the public is paramount.
“I want to thank Stansted Airport and all the passengers and crew involved for their patience and co-operation.”
The passengers on the Ryanair flight will now be transported to Luton Airport.
An RAF spokesman confirmed the loud bang heard over Suffolk this morning was a sonic boom from the typhoon jets.
He said: “The RAF can confirm Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon aircraft were launched this morning from RAF Coningsby to intercept a civilian aircraft.
“The aircraft was safely escorted to Stansted Airport.
“The Typhoon aircraft were authorised to transit at supersonic speed for operational reasons; any inconvenience caused to local residents is regretted.”
A spokesman for the airport added that all flights had now resumed after being held for about ten minutes from 8.55am today.
He said: “Flights were briefly held while RAF Typhoons escorted the plane in.
“All flights are now operating as normal. It was literally a momentary pause.”
One passenger, Jonathan Zulberg, said the flight had been delayed for up to 40 minutes in Lithuania.
“When we were allowed to board we saw fire engines and a police car but weren’t told anything and we took off,” he said.
He said a stewardess told him there had been a bomb threat made in Lithuania but other passengers learned that only when the captain made an announcement after the plane had landed in Britain.
He said: “First (the) pilot told us of diversion. Then only once landed after about 5-10 mins pilot made announcement of bomb threat.
“When I heard I was pretty surprised the plane was allowed to take off.”