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Ryanair Plane Intercepted By F-16 Fighter Jets And Diverted From Populated Areas After Pilots Call in Bomb Threat

Ryanair Plane Intercepted By F-16 Fighter Jets And Diverted From Populated Areas After Pilots Call in Bomb Threat

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A Ryanair flight from Katowice to Athens was intercepted and escorted by two F-16 fighter jets from the Greek Air Force after the pilots of the Boeing 737 reported that a bomb threat had been made against the aircraft.

Ryanair flight FR-6385 departed Katowice in Poland at around 2:20 pm on Sunday for what should have been a routine two-hour flight to Greece.

As the six-year-old aircraft approached Greek airspace, the pilots reported the potential security threat to air traffic controllers. Fighter jets were immediately scrambled to intercept the aircraft, while the flight was initially diverted over the Aegean Sea, away from populated areas.

The aircraft was then allowed to continue its approach to Athens, where it landed without incident. The plane was, however, sent to an isolated area of the airfield and was met by local enforcement.

Constantia Dimoglidou, a police spokesperson, was quoted as saying: “The pilot informed the Athens control tower, but we don’t know where the information originally came from.”

A spokesperson for Ryanair confirmed that 190 passengers and crew were onboard the aircraft, which was operated by Polish subsidiary Buzz on behalf of Ryanair.

On arrival in Greece, police units searched the aircraft and carried out a sweep of passenger luggage, but nothing suspicious was found.

Ryanair said its pilots followed proper procedure by continuing to fly to Athens as scheduled rather than diverting to a third country as soon as the bomb threat was received.

In May 2021, a Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius in Lithuania diverted to Minsk, the capital of Belarus, after the pilots were informed of a bomb threat against the aircraft.

The pilots originally intended to continue flying to Vilnius, but an air traffic controller convinced the crew to divert the plane. Once on the ground, Belarusian security services swooped on the plane and took a dissident journalist into custody.

The elaborate bomb hoax was labelled an “act of aviation piracy” by U.S. government officials, as well as Ryanair’s own chief executive.

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