Wednesday, April 24, 2024

China-bound Iranian flight with ‘bomb threat’ spent 40 mins in Indian airspace

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An Iranian Mahan Air flight, which was on its way from Tehran to Guangzhou in China, on Monday hovered in the Indian airspace for nearly 40 minutes before it was allowed to leave as the Indian Air Force scrambled fighter jets to combat an alleged “bomb threat”, an official was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. Mahan Air later tweeted that the report was “fake” and that the flight was safe.

In the name of Allah. Following the publication of an allegation of a “threat to bomb a Mahan Airlines flight over India and request an emergency landing”, the public relations of Mahan Airlines informed that the Airbus 340 passenger plane of this company was traveling from Tehran to Guangzhou in China,” read a statement by Mahan Air.

“The pilot, as soon as he learned about the possibility of a bomb in the flight, shared the situation with the control center… and recognized that this story was fake and the flight was completely safe.”

“It seems that the design of such reports in the current international and domestic conditions was proposed in order to disturb the security and peace of mind,” it added.

Earlier in the day, the Delhi Police received intel about a possible bomb threat on the Airbus A340 aircraft heading towards China over the capital’s airspace.

“Lahore ATC informed the Delhi ATC around 9am about the bomb threat to the flight… the Delhi ATC began the SOP [standard operating procedure],” a Delhi airport official told Hindustan Times, requesting anonymity.

The Air Traffic Control (ATC) did not permit the plane to land in Delhi due to the alleged bomb threat and it was diverted to Jaipur. Reports said that the pilot refused to divert the plane forcing the IAF jets to intercept.

IAF took out Su-30MKI fighter jets from Halwara air base in Punjab and Rajasthan’s Jodhpur air base to intercept and escort the Iranian flight.

They might have had some suspicion about the bomb scare, so we were kept on alert for it. We had positioned our vehicles. We had two fire unit vehicles positioned with assistant regional officers and reinforcements sent as and when required,” Sanjay Tomar, deputy chief fire officer, told ANI.

The aircraft was allowed to leave the Indian airspace only after it got clearance by Iranian authorities.

“We were given an all-clear message at 10.05am by security,” he said.

According to the IAF, the aircraft was given a green signal to proceed towards China after Iranian agencies confirmed to the force and asked them to “disregard the threat”. The nature of the bomb threat was unclear.

“All actions were taken by IAF as per laid down procedure, jointly with the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) & Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS),” the Air Force said in a statement, adding that the aircraft was under “close radar surveillance” till it left Indian airspace.China-bound Iranian flight with ‘bomb threat’ spent 40 mins in Indian airspace

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