Fighter jets escort plane after possible explosive device on board

Fighter jets escort plane after possible explosive device on board

January 22, 2023

Bomb threat on Ryanair flight: Fighter jets escort plane travelling from Poland to Greece with nearly 200 passengers and crew after authorities alerted to possible explosive device on board

  • Police were searching the Ryan air passenger plane for any suspicious items
  • Boeing 737 pilot alerted authorities over possible explosive on board

Greek warplanes scrambled Sunday to escort a Ryanair flight from Poland to Greece with 190 people on board after a bomb alert was reported to authorities, officials said.

Police were searching a Ryanair passenger plane that landed at Athens International Airport for any suspicious items after receiving an alert for a bomb threat, police officials said. 

The pilot of the Boeing 737 aircraft, with about 190 passengers and crew on board, had earlier alerted authorities over a possible explosive device on board, one of the officials said. 

The plane, which was flying from Katowice in Poland to Greece arrived in Athens escorted by two fighter jets at 5:35 p.m.

A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 taking off (stock image)

 Firefighting engines were on standby as it landed. Police were later searching passengers as they were disembarking and their luggage was lined up outside the aircraft

Two F-16 jets escorted the flight, which took off from Katowice for Athens, as it entered Greek airspace from North Macedonia, the source told AFP.

The Boeing 737 had earlier been escorted by Hungarian warplanes, the official added.

The flight finally landed at an isolated area at Athens International Airport shortly before 1600 GMT, a delay of nearly two-and-a-half hours.

‘The passengers have disembarked and are being inspected,’ Greek police spokeswoman Constantia Dimoglidou told AFP.

‘There were 190 people on board including the crew. The plane will be checked after the passengers,’ she said.

As the plane approached Athens, it was diverted over the sea as a precaution.

Piotr Adamczyk, public relations manager at Katowice airport, said they had received a telephone warning as the plane was flying over Slovakia.

‘After the plane took off, there was a call to the airport information centre concerning the possible presence of an explosive device on board,’ Adamczyk told AFP.

‘We contacted air traffic control, which subsequently contacted the pilots,’ he added.

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