U.K. fighter jet escorts passenger plane into Manchester airport

A military fighter jet escorts a passenger jet as it comes in to land at Manchester airport. Police say they have arrested a man on suspicion of making a hoax bomb threat after Qatar Airways Flight 23 landed with a military fighter escort at Britain's Manchester Airport. Photo: AP   | Photo Credit: Matthew Cossar

What should have been a smooth descent and landing for >Qatar Airways QR23 into Manchester Airport on Tuesday afternoon turned out to be an emergency landing closely monitored by an Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoon fighter jet escort.

This followed a warning to the crew from a passenger that an explosive device was placed on the flight. The crew informed the pilot of the threat who in turn informed airport traffic control. On arriving safely armed police entered the plane and escorted a bald man in a green shirt out of the aircraft. He had allegedly made the threat, which turned out to be a hoax.

For the 269 passengers and 13 Qatar Airways crew on board the Airbus A330-30, the last half an hour of their flight was agonizingly tense. Passengers tweeted pictures and videos of the RAF Typhoon as it drew up and flew alongside their plane.

Manchester airport authorities announced the safe arrival of the flight after the “crew on board had received a threat during the flight. Runway operations were temporarily suspended at Manchester while the incident was dealt with and satisfactorily resolved by the authorities.”

The airport reopened after a twenty five minute runway closure. A number of incoming flights were diverted to nearby airports.

To the BBC Matthew Cox a passenger on QR 23 said, “Armed police came on and found a guy, searched him and made him stand up with his hands on his head and took him off the plane.

“He seemed no different to others on the plane, nothing unusual,” Mr. Cox said.

The RAF sent a Typhoon aircraft from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire when the pilot requested assistance. The role of the escort plane was to ensure that the Airbus flew along its given flight path.

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 9:46:09 PM |

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