A Wizz Air flight from Israel to Poland was evacuated a short time after landing after a bomb threat was made against the flight on Saturday night. Aircrew used emergency evacuation slides to evacuate passengers onto the tarmac with several injuries reported.
Wizz Air flight W65098 departed Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport at around 6:45 pm on Saturday for what should have been a routine three-hour flight to Poland’s second largest city Krakow.
Upon landing at the John Paul II Kraków-Balice International Airport, the Wizz Air operated Airbus A321 aircraft taxied to a remote part of the airfield before the evacuation was ordered.
The evacuation was the second in less than a week after bomb threats were made against Wizz Air flights.
Some passengers aboard Saturday night’s flight claim the aircraft waited on the ground with the doors shut for more than 30 minutes before the evacuation was ordered. Flight crew then announced a bomb threat and ordered everyone off the aircraft.
It is a standard industry practice only to evacuate passengers using emergency slides when there is an immediate and life threatening risk. It is generally acknowledged that evacuation via slides poses a serious injury risk so the benefits of evacuation must outweigh the risk of injury.
Local officials have not yet verified whether the evacuation was ordered because of a telephoned bomb threat or as a result of intelligence indicating the flight was at risk.
Witnesses claim some children were hurt during the evacuation. Passengers were herded on the tarmac before security forces arrived with sniffer dogs.
On Wednesday, a Wizz Air flight from Bari, Italy to Krakow was diverted to Budapest and evacuated using emergency slides after a bomb threat was made against the plane.
The aircraft was on the ground for more than six hours before security forces eventually determined that the threat was a hoax. Wizz Air says its personnel followed the correct procedure by evacuating passengers via slides.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.