An easyJet flight from London to the Spanish island of Menorca on Sunday was escorted to its destination by a Spanish fighter jet after a British teenager on board made a bomb threat on social media, police said. this Monday (4th).
The 18-year-old, who was traveling with five friends, spent the night in prison and is awaiting a court hearing, a spokesman for Spain’s Civil Guard said.
Footage from the incident showed an F-18 jet flying close to the orange wingtips of the commercial airline’s A-319 aircraft, which typically carries between 120 and 150 passengers.
The fighter is seen flapping its wings, a gesture known in aviation as a signal that the other pilot should follow it, while worried passengers can be heard discussing what is happening and a woman asks: “Why is he doing this? ?”.
Watch the video:
Military aircraft generally intercept a civil aircraft when ground air traffic control loses contact with it or there is a perceived threat to the aircraft or passengers due to a warning of a bomb, suspicious object, or feared terrorist activity.
A Reuters report reports that easyJet flight EZY8303, which departed London Gatwick airport at 1 pm, landed safely at Menorca airport in the Balearic Islands with a half-hour delay shortly before 5 pm and was escorted to an area of security.
There, the teenager was arrested and, over a two-hour period, passengers were disembarked one by one and asked to identify their luggage for verification by sniffer dogs and bomb disposal specialists, according to the Civil Guard.
Other flights from Menorca were disrupted by the incident.
A company spokesperson confirmed that the flight was escorted by a military aircraft and there was a delay in disembarkation due to preventive security checks, but did not elaborate on the cause.
“The safety of its passengers and crew is always easyJet’s highest priority and we would like to thank passengers for their understanding,” he said.
The report does not provide details of the threat made by the teenager.