Two flights operated by Pakistan’s state-owned airline received bombs threats on Wednesday, and both landed safely, one in Turkey, the other in Malaysia, officials said.
The first flight was headed for Manchester, England, when it was notified of the threat near the Bulgarian capital of Sofia. The crew contacted the control tower in Istanbul to seek permission for the landing, state-run Anatolia news agency reported.
Authorities quickly evacuated all 378 passengers from the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft after it parked at a remote corner of the International Ataturk Airport, and bomb squads began searching the plane with sniffer dogs, Anatolia reported.
PIA spokesman Mashood Tajwar confirmed the flight received a threat and landed. All passengers were safe.
Later, a second PIA flight from Islamabad to Kuala Lumpur also received a bomb threat. It landed in Kuala Lumpur and all 176 passengers disembarked safely, said Mr. Tajwar.
Mr. Tajwar gave no details on the nature of the threat or how it was delivered, but a local television station said it was by email.
The bomb threats came four days before the 10th anniversary of 9/11, but there was no apparent link to Islamist militants, who typically do not alert authorities in advance.
The FBI and Homeland Security department issued warnings last weekend about al-Qaeda threats to small airlines.